“I am under no illusions: it will be an uphill struggle. It is harder to create a digital single market than a physical one.” Words from the European Commission’s digital single market commissioner Andrus Ansip, who nevertheless seems determined to press on with reforms that will create exactly that.
And squarely in his sights is the process of geoblocking: limiting content to be watched or listened to in certain countries only, while blocking others. “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,” Ansip told the Financial Times. “Deep in my heart, I hate geoblocking. It is old-fashioned and it is not fair. We do not have to use these instruments in the 21st century.” There’s a long road ahead to remove these instruments, but it will be fascinating to see how Ansip’s efforts go.