European Commission to Assess Limiting Geoblocking for Streaming Platforms in EU

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Commission: average EU consumer has access to 14% of films available online to all EU member states

The European Commission published a review of the 2018 Geo-blocking Regulation on November 30, which stated it is looking into making changes to the regulation that would limit such geoblocking practices in the audio-visual sector.

The review stated the commission aims to address the audio-visual sector and improve access to copyrighted content in the European Union in a way so as to adhere to the core concept of the EU's Single Market. The commission plans to address the issues pointed out in its review in its upcoming Media and Audiovisual Action Plan.

As part of the plan, the commission will launch a dialogue with stakeholders in the audio-visual sector, before considering any concrete measures.

Online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime employ geoblocking in the European Union across the bloc. The report noted that the average European consumer only has access to 14% of the films available online to all EU member states. The report stated that "viewers in Greece have access only to 1.3% of the films available online in the EU, while those in Germany have access to 43.1%."

The 2018 regulation currently applies to sectors such as e-commerce.

Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton stated regarding the review:

The pandemic has shown to which extent we rely on digital technologies across all EU countries and that cross-border access to goods and services online should be without any barriers or friction for European consumers, regardless of their location, residence, or nationality. This first review of the Geo-blocking Regulation already shows first positive results. We will further monitor its effects and discuss with stakeholders, notably in the context of the Media and Audio-visual Action Plan to ensure the industry can scale up and reach new audiences, and consumers can fully enjoy the diversity of goods and services in the different EU Member States.

Source: The European Comission's website, Techcrunch (Natasha Lomas)

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