IRISH SHOPPERS will soon be able to choose which website they wish to buy from without being blocked or automatically re-routed to another site due to their nationality, thanks to a new law.
The new rules, which will be debated in the EU Parliament this week, will mean Irish consumers will be able to purchase directly from a store based in another EU state rather than being redirected to the Irish or UK store where the same product may be more expensive.
The vote is expected to take place tomorrow and the new rules will come into force nine months after that.
The new law also mean that online buyers will have wider access to products including hotel bookings, car rentals or concert tickets.
Traders will have to treat online shoppers from another EU country in the same way as local customers.
But copyrighted content is currently excluded from the new law. This means that e-books, downloadable music or online games, will not be covered for the time being.
However, parliament’s negotiators inserted a “review clause” in the law, which requires the EU Commission to assess within two years whether the ban on geo-blocking should be widened to include those products.
Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes said he welcomed the piece of legislation.
He said: “For far too long European citizens have been disadvantaged when buying goods or services from an online store based in another EU Member State. The new agreement means that there will no longer be barriers to access websites of companies. In addition, a consumer cannot be redirected to another country specific website without consent.
“The new rules makes perfect sense. We have a European Single Market – consumers should not be disadvantaged when purchasing from another Member State.”[“Source-thejournal”]