Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT)

Overhaul aimed at making all media equally available throughout Europe

08 Apr 2015

2 min read

The European Union has recently unveiled a planned reform for the 28 Member State’s digital market aimed at boosting ecommerce and overhauling Europe’s telecoms market. This will be done primarily by making all media equally available across Europe, be it films, music or television.

The European Union has launched a policy debate that will have implications for global technology groups, such as Apple and Google, together with independent film makers, as well as some of the world’s biggest publishers.

Julia Reda, a German MEP for the Pirate Party, has been reported to state “that increased access to knowledge and to Europe’s cultural diversity is crucial for a digital single market.”

The EU’s digital single market Commissioner tasked with overseeing the reforms, Andrus Ansip (Estonia’s former Prime Minister) has listed a number of concerns, one of which is the geoblocking phenomenon – whereby websites limit the content that can be watched in certain countries due to copyright restrictions.  Mr Ansip has stated “Today’s situation is lose-lose: people are ready to pay, but we do not accept their money. There are two logics — geoblocking or the internal market. Those two cannot coexist.”

The Commissioner’s proposals are also aimed at increasing cross-border ecommerce. The bulk of online shopping is done domestically he stated, with consumers either unable or unwilling to use foreign websites. This brings about an unfair competition within the European Union as customers using websites in rich countries tend to pay more for the same goods and services than in other countries.

Earlier this month, Mr Ansip has also called on member states to agree to get rid of roaming charges.

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