How many times have you attempted to order a sweater or handbag from a favorite on-line store only to be redirected to a Czech version of that same site with noticeably higher prices?
The European Commission has recently published a proposal that would end this unfair practice, known as geo-blocking, whereby vendors redirect or block customers (often those from Eastern European countries) based on their IP addresses.
The new rules for internet trading among EU member states, says Ekonom.cz, would mean that when ordering from French or German companies, for instance, Czech customers would finally be receiving goods at the same prices as those customers ordering from within Western Europe; prices that in most cases are considerably cheaper.
While there is no obligation in place for e-shops to sell or provide their services throughout the EU, the proposal would mean that member countries must offer one uniform price across the European Union.
Transactions involving transportation, audio-video services, financial services, banking, loans, mortages, insurance, and other services regulated separately among EU countries, would not be affected by the policy.
If approved, the rules could take affect as early as 2017.