Creating a Digital Single Market is one of the ten priorities of the EU President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker. The EU is of the opinion that too many barriers still block the free flow of online services across national borders. The Digital Agenda will update EU Single Market rules for the digital era.
The EU Commission has recently stated that it wants to ensure that the purchasers of films, music or articles at their home country, can also enjoy the purchased product while traveling across Europe. There will need to be a review of the Satellite and Cable Directive to assess if the Directive needs to be broadened to ensure that the end user would be able to enjoy cross-border access within the EU.
The Commission has also launched an anti-trust competition inquiry – into the 28 nation’s e-commerce sector. The Commission plans to tackle the anti-competitive measures taken by the retailers and manufacturers which prevented customers in one member state to purchase goods online from an online store in another EU jurisdiction – more commonly referred to “geo-blocking”.
In parallel, the Commission will also be launching an inquiry on the role that search engines, social media and app stores play in the sphere of the digital market. Included in this inquiry will be the examination of how best to tackle the illegal content on the internet.
The final goal of the Digital Single Market is to boost the music download business, establish a single area for online payments, and further protect EU consumers in cyberspace. In total the EU has laid out 16 separate plans which form part of the digital single market strategy – which the EU wishes to deliver by 2016.
One of the mentioned plans is the clarification of the situation in respect of net neutrality and zero rating – whereby a set of rules will state if and when mobile and broadband network providers may discriminate between online services using their service.