European Parliament adopts regulation against geoblocking

Voting 557 to 89, the European Parliament adopted a new regulation that bans most types of geoblocking. Geoblocking restricts Internet content to particular geographic locations, which, for example, allows companies to charge different fees in different locations. The regulation aims to facilitate cross-border access to online services, on the same terms, within the EU, preventing the restriction or discrimination of content in particular locations. An exemption has been made for copyrighted material, which can remain blocked in locations across the EU. This exception, which will be re-examined in 2020, has been criticised by consumer rights organisations, claiming that ‘from the consumer’s point of view, this makes no sense at all.’ The ban is expected to enter into force by the end of 2018, after the formal approval by EU member states.