The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) has criticised the fact that freely accessible audiovisual online content such as TV live streams or catch-up services can continue to be restricted to domestic viewers by geo-blocking,
The European Parliament voted 557 to 89 on Tuesday in favour of a regulation that bans geo-blocking for most types of online content. However some digital media including Netflix and Amazon are exempt.
Almost half of VPN users in the UK are accessing region-based content, according to new research by YouGov.
EU citizens can use online services such as Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Deezer while in another EU country for holidays, studies or business, after the European Parliament approved measures allowing portability of online content.
The European Council agreed on a draft regulation to ban unjustified geo-blocking between member states. However, copyright protected works are not included.
The European Commission has said geoblocking stands in the way of a modern digital market and should be abolished.
Hulu has stepped up efforts to block non-US viewers who are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to mask their location.