Edited by Peter Mankowski
Chapter 9: The rise and fall of a defining criterion? The targeting of digital commercial activities as a factor establishing consumer jurisdictions before and after the Geo-Blocking Regulation
The question of whether a person can sue or be sued ‘at home’ or ‘abroad’ is commonly considered a key element in determining whether and the extent to which crossborder transactions will in fact materialise. This is particularly true in relation to the B2C sector. In order to do justice to the interests of both providers and customers, the establishment of special consumer jurisdictions are provided for under specific circumstances, rather than generally, in Articles 17 ff of the Brussels Ibis Regulation. One such circumstance is the targeting of digital commercial activities at the Member State of the consumer’s domicile. However, this measure, which was originally introduced as a criterion to define procedural consumer protection and provide entrepreneurs with greater foreseeability, appears to be increasingly undermined by more recent legislation, in particular the Geo-blocking Regulation. This article identifies the challenges which arise in applying the targeting criterion in the context of crossborder ecommerce and provides suggestions on how its application might be developed in the post-geoblocking era.
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