March 1, 2018
The ongoing process to end geoblocking within the European Union cleared another hurdle this week. After approval by Parliament last month, the European Council on Tuesday voted to adopt the regulation that prohibits e-commerce merchants in EU member states from charging different prices or even making products unavailable to consumers in certain other countries within the EU. In the past, blocking transactions from certain countries has been one tool merchants have used to limit fraud, but the practice has waned in recent years as the effectiveness of antifraud technology has improved.
EU politicians have been working on regulations to end geoblocking for years as part of establishing the Single Digital Market in Europe that will remove barriers and provide more choice for all European online shoppers.
According to a Council statement, the regulation will officially enter into force before the end of March with an impact evaluation due two years after that.