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EU Adopts Ban on Unjustified Geo-Blocking

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On 27 February 2018, the European Union (EU) adopted the EU geo-blocking regulation (the Regulation), which will enter into force by the end of the year. The Regulation prohibits unjustified geo-blocking, and other forms of discrimination, based on customers’ nationality, place of residence, or place of establishment.

The Regulation is particularly relevant to all businesses selling online in different EU Member States, whether or not they are located in the EU. Before the end of the year, businesses should carefully review their online interface mechanisms, terms and conditions, payment mechanisms, and distribution agreements to assess whether unjustified geo-blocking practices are in place, and, if necessary, adjust their terms and sales organization to ensure compliance with the Regulation.