One of the essential characteristics of the European Union is the internal market, where the free movement of persons, goods and services is a priority. Among other things, the European Commission supervises the internal market and takes action against infringements of the aforementioned freedoms.

In my earlier article European Commission: Car hire companies discriminate among customers, I already reported that the Commission was taking action against car hire companies that discriminate among customers based on their country of origin.

The Commission has now called Disneyland Paris to account (Disneyland Paris faces pricing probe) because the amusement park reportedly discriminates between buyers of travel packages based on their country of origin. French consumers reportedly pay many hundreds of euros less than non-French consumers for the same package.

This practice is called geoblocking and is more widespread in e-commerce. Consumers from country A see different prices on a company’s website than consumers from country B, for instance. Consumers from a particular country are also sometimes denied use of an online service because they do not live in a specific country. This latter practice is commonplace among broadcasters and providers of online streaming services. The Commission also takes action against this form of geoblocking (Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections on cross-border).

By Charlotte Raaimakers