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European ‘geoblocking’ proposal set to open up online drinks sales

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The European Commission has put forward a regulation that would prevent drinks brands from refusing to sell to consumers in a foreign European Union member state, if a distributor is prepared to export the product.

The proposal would prevent drinks companies from refusing to accept foreign EU credit cards for online purchases

The proposal would prevent drinks companies from refusing to accept foreign EU credit cards for online purchases

The so-called proposed 'geoblocking' law would also prevent drinks companies from limiting EU consumers to making purchases from an in-house website dedicated to a particular country. If the law is approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, consumers would be allowed to use different country-specific websites that are owned by the same drinks company.

The proposal would also prevent drinks companies from refusing to accept foreign EU credit cards for online purchases, although firms will still be permitted stipulate which currency - for example, Euro or Dollar - and card type must be used.

A Commission note said officials want the regulation approved swiftly so it can take effect in 2017. European consumers' organisation BEUC welcomed the proposed law, saying it was "great news for European consumers" and "another step towards creating an EU-wide digital single market".


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