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Committee is critical on geo-blocking and roaming progress in Europe

The EU has not delivered on its promise to abolish obstacles to the free movement of goods and services for consumers, says the European Economic and Social Committee, ‘Europe's voice for civil society’, in three opinions on geo-blocking, roaming and parcel delivery – and concludes that Europe ‘can do better’ in making the single market a reality for consumers. On geo-blocking it believes that the European Commission's proposal to tackle this issue is only "a small step forward, not a game changer" that is uncertain to alleviate consumers’ and companies’ frustrations. The EESC recommends creating a level-playing field for online and offline trading by removing obstacles to selling and buying across borders. And on roaming, while the EESC supports the Commission's initiatives to ‘roam-like-home’, it expresses serious reservations about the possibility for operators to negotiate wholesale pricing schemes outside the regulated price caps, as contained in the Commission's proposal. Since no mobile network covers all EU member states, roaming providers have to purchase services from other operators active in the visited country. The problem is that ‘innovative wholesale pricing schemes’ outside the regulated prices would not be directly linked to the volumes consumed. Commercial negotiations based on flat payments or up-front commitments are likely to lead to cartels and abuses of dominant positions by large operators to the detriment of smaller ones. Read more

  • Thursday, 03 November 2016

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