On February 6, the European Parliament approved a new law that will give all websites the freedom to sell their products all through the EU not considering the buyer’s country of origin. The bill passed without much ado, with a majority (557) voting in favor, against the 89 who were in opposition. The law forbids site owners from geo-blocking and gives anyone within the EU the right to purchase services or goods online.
This means a French—or any other EU customer— doesn’t have to pay extra fees or suffer rejection based on their origin if they wish to buy goods online.
The law’s shortcoming
The rule, however, does not come clear on product delivery across the states. E-commerce sites have not been bound by the law to deliver their goods throughout EU countries, a hitch that could bring to a close the purchase of items cross-border products.
Moreover, this new ban only applies to items like electronics or clothing but not for the purchase of services, e.g., hotel and car bookings.
One Digital Market for All
Geo-blocking is one of the barriers to the EU’s vision of a single digital market. And now that the law is doing away with it, market analysts have predicted that soon this dream will come true.
So in a year or two, we expect to see better solutions for online services like music, video games, and electronic books.
European lawmakers failed to touch on cultural property, e.g., online gaming and music streaming following lengthy talks that were unable to bear unanimous results.
This exclusion is temporary
The policymakers might have failed to include such services because of the disturbing issue of copyright, specifically for video content. However, this still keeps them further from reaching their goal of “one digital market for all.”
According to Martin Goyens, the Director of BEUC, a consumer protection company, the ban on geo-blocking is just a tip of the iceberg; the lawmakers will have to find a solution for cultural goods during their two-year revision span. The inclusion is necessary to ensure the law cuts across all products and favors all merchants as well as consumers.
The European Parliament’s first effort to stretch the geo-blocking ban to cover cultural property failed after the idea was turned down by some of the member states at the adoption stage. The opposition was led by Italy, Spain, France, and the UK.
While the new EU market is promising, several adjustments need to be made if the union wants to achieve its vision. However, for now, we expect more entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom acquire high-risk merchant account UK in preparation for the boom.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Taylor Cole is a passionate entrepreneur who enjoys to write, produce music, and travel. Bestpaymentproviders is the UK’s best high-risk merchant account UK company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants.