Geo-blocking is a term used for the restriction of a user’s access to a website or Internet content based on the user’s geographical location. From December 3rd of this year, the EU’s so-called Geo-blocking Regulation (2018/302) will be applicable in all EU countries and put a ban on “unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment”. As can be deduced from the regulation’s full name, it tackles not only geo-blocking, but also geo-discrimination, which means the application of different conditions (e.g. price, payment methods, delivery options) to users based in different geographical locations.
But before consumers cheer too hard and small e-commerce businesses faint out of horror, let’s take a closer look at a few things this regulation does not mean.