On 25 April 2017 the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on “Proposal for a Regulation on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market”. The Regulation aims to prevent discrimination for consumers and companies on access to prices, sales or payment conditions when buying products and services in another EU country.
The European Commission had excluded audio-visual services including broadcasts of sport events from the scope of its proposal, therefore generally allowing geo-blocking as a means to protect territoriality of sport broadcasts. However, the report includes a review clause regarding the inclusion of audio-visual content after two years and other initiatives of the Digital Single Market (DSM), such as the proposal on “Copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes” could still curtail the territorial exclusivity of content.
Representatives of the EP, the Council of the EU and the European Commission will now negotiate a common position in the so-called “trilogue”. The Council had already agreed its position end of November 2016.
European Commission, Proposal for a Regulation on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market, COM(2016) 289