Measures are being taken in the EU single market to combat geo-blocking, i.e. discrimination based on nationality or the place of residence or establishment. According to the proposal on geo-blocking, it would no longer be allowed to block customers from accessing a specific site based on their nationality or place of residence or establishment, rerouting the customer to another website without the customer’s advance consent, or using different payment terms based on the customer’s nationality or place of establishment.
In its statement (in Finnish), the FCCA considered the proposals presented in the regulation a move in the right direction from the perspectives of both consumer protection and the promotion of competition. However, the FCCA drew attention to the resources required for enforcing the regulation. According to the proposal, Member States must designate an authority or authorities to enforce the regulation and provide practical assistance to consumers in disputes concerning geo-blocking. The new duties will require a relatively large effort as well as technical capabilities, methods and resources to gather and track information on geo-blocking in data networks. Consequently, more resources should be allocated to the FCCA if the supervisory tasks of the FCCA are to be expanded to enforcing the proposed regulation.