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Geo-blocking: Unjustified barrier to the digital single market or legitimate commercial practice?

Better Regulation and Industrial Competitiveness

CEPS Conference room
Place du Congrès 1 - 1000 Brussels

Participation in CEPS meetings is a benefit of membership. Non-members may be admitted for €150, to be paid upon receipt of an invoice. A light lunch will be served before the event from 12:30.

CEPS Event

Geo-blocking: Unjustified barrier to the digital single market or legitimate commercial practice?


A key plank in the Digital Market Strategy is described by the European Commission as “preventing unjustified geo-blocking”, and legislative proposals are planned for the first half of 2016 to address this practice. Online sellers use geo-blocking for commercial reasons to either deny access to websites and content based in other member states, re-route traffic to local websites or apply different prices. By limiting consumer opportunities and choice, geo-blocking is a significant cause of consumer dissatisfaction and fragmentation of the Internal Market.

This seminar will focus on territoriality issues regarding copyright in the audiovisual sector. Key questions for the seminar include:

  • Can geo-blocking ever be justified, or are the plans on geo-blocking and copyright too cautious?
  • Is geo-targeting a legitimate practice arising from commercial agreements between producers and distributors to segment the market, e.g in the cinema industry?
  • Do geo-blocking restrictions infringe the rules of EU competition law?

Felice Simonelli, Researcher at CEPS : Geo-blocking in the audiovisual sector

Summary of the event

European Broadcasting Union, position paper on Copyright Licensing

Colin Blackman
Colin Blackman

Associate Research Fellow

Speakers list
Anna Herold

Member, Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger, European Commission

Nicola Frank

Head of European Affairs, European Broadcasting Union

Agustín Reyna

Senior Legal Officer & Digital Team Leader, The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)

Stephen Turner

Policy Officer, European Digital Media Association (EDiMA)

Felice Simonelli

Researcher, CEPS