A PYMNTS Company

EU: Ec warns geo-blocking of online TV shows may break antitrust rules

 |  September 15, 2016

The European Union’s antitrust regulator warned consumer-product makers and digital content owners could face probes for restricting the online sale of their wares in potential violation of antitrust rules.

A preliminary report from the European Commission, the bloc’s antitrust authority, said that roughly 40% of online retailers reported contractual restrictions or recommendations from manufacturers on the prices they can offer consumers, and 18% of retailers had manufacturer restrictions on selling through online marketplaces, such as eBay Inc.

The report also detailed a thicket of restrictive contracts on the distribution of movies, TV shows and music, stating that they could violate EU antitrust rules by making it difficult for new entrants to get content licenses or for new business models to emerge.

While the 290-page report doesn’t name any companies, it puts pressure on an array of businesses from luxury goods to Hollywood that put restrictions on how and where their products can be sold—and at what price.

E-commerce companies increasingly use specific targeting, based on factors such as location and even web habits, to promote and sell goods. The media business, for its part, which makes billions by selling the same movie or TV episode separately in different countries at different times and for different prices.

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.