Dienstag, 19.02.2019 16:12 Uhr

Geo-blocking in the European Union

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 08.02.2018, 14:48 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Wirtschaft und Finanzen +++ Bericht 7836x gelesen

Rome [ENA] According to the Report of the EU Commission named “Consumer Conditions Scoreboard” conditions for consumers have improved overall since 2014 in the EU, driven mainly by an increase in trust, but remain less satisfactory in the eastern and southern EU countries. All of the three components of the Consumer Conditions Index (CCI) show a certain progress at European Union level in 2016 compared to 2014.

The main increase is for Knowledge and Trust with a score 4.2 percentage points higher than 2 years earlier. This was mainly driven by an upsurge in trust (+6) and continues the positive trend noted in previous Scoreboards. There is also improvement on the two other Consumer Conditions Index components, i.e. Compliance and Enforcement (+3.1) and the component Complaints and Dispute Resolution (+1.4). In 2016 a fifth of consumers indicated that they faced a problem over the previous 12 months that in their view would be a cause to complain (-2.6 points making a comparison with 2014). Those who did complain primarily complained to the retailer or service provider (50 %, a significant drop of 12.5 points compared to 2014).

Few took the matter to a public authority (6.5 %) or an alternative dispute resolution body (3.7 %) and even fewer to a court (1.2 %). For example, the most common problem encountered by consumers when buying online cross-border is that retailers do not accept payment from the consumers’ country (12.8 % of cross-border online shoppers, up 7.9 percentage points from 2014). This is followed by retailer’s refusal to deliver to the country of the consumer (reported by 10.1 % of cross-border shoppers, similar to 2014), while redirection to another site with different prices was relatively less frequently reported (6.2 % of shoppers, down 2 percentage points from 2014).

These obstacles experienced by consumers in crossborder e-commerce reflect territorial restrictions applied by the online sellers. The breadth of such territorial restrictions was confirmed by a large-scale mystery shopping study carried out by the Commission , with almost two thirds of e-commerce websites found to practice some form of geo-blocking. Geo-blocking is a practice used by online retailers that prevents access to products and services to consumers based on geographic location.

In 2016, 24.2 % of those shopping from another EU country faced obstacles when buying online cross-border. Among the Member States of the EU, the highest incidence is observed in Malta (63.4 %), Greece (49.9 %), France (36.4 %) and the United Kingdom (35.2 %) and the lowest in Spain (12.2 %), Italy (13.8 %), Hungary (14.9 %) and Poland (15.7 %). In addition, the indicator grew by 6.7 percentage points overall in the EU, with changes ranging from +23.2 percentage points in Germany to -23.3 percentage points in Luxembourg.

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