Industry News

EU location-based ticket fees banned

EU ticket buyers will no longer need to pay additional fees or be refused service based on their location after the European Parliament voted to ban geo-blocking.

The move for online traders to treat cross-border shoppers in the same way as local ones will widen access to online services, such as ticketing, electronics, cloud services, website hosting, data warehousing and music festivals, among many others.

The new legislation means that customers will be able to shop online in any EU country, without any additional fees or without being rerouted or refused based on their country of residence.

European lawmakers did not include cultural property such as music streaming websites, electronic books or online games.

E-commerce is rapidly growing in the EU, with online sales rising around 20 per cent each year.

Andrus Ansip, the commissioner for the digital single market, said, according to the Euractiv website, that only seven per cent of companies offer sales in another member state.

He said: “It’s a first step forward. And in two years’ time I hope that we can expand the scope of these solutions to online services such as video games, music, and e-books.”

The legislation states: “Traders will have to treat online shoppers from another EU country in the same way as local ones, i.e. grant them access to the same prices or sales conditions, when they buy a service which is supplied in the premises of the trader or in a physical location where the trader operates, e.g. hotel stays, sports events, car rentals, music festivals or leisure park tickets.”

Róża Thun of the European People’s Party, said: “This new EU law on geo-blocking is an important step towards an even more competitive and integrated Digital Single Market, for both consumers and traders.

“It also represents another milestone in the fight against the discrimination of consumers based on their nationality or place of residence, which should never be taking place in our united Europe.

“We have proven that the European Union can deliver concrete results for the citizens all over Europe, bringing positive changes in their daily lives.”

Image: Elaine Smith