Disneyland Paris is accused of geoblocking entrance fees. The practice of rigging, which limits consumer services’ access, according to location, has been outlawed by the European Commission. The European Union regulators also named Sky UK and six Hollywood studios of blocking access for British and Irish consumers who wish to access pay-TV from another country.
Now the regulators are investigating claims that Disneyland Paris is charging foreign visitors more for their entrance tickets compared to people living in France, according to France24. A spokesperson for The EU Commission, Lucia Caudet, said they had received numerous complaints from irate customers paying more for tickets than visitors from France. Caudet said the Commission has looked at amusement parks in other locations and have not found much difference in ticket prices.
Disneyland Paris welcomed “14.2 million” visitors to the park last year. The park is owned by Euro Disney. This figure makes Disneyland Paris the most popular tourist attraction in Europe. A report from The European Consumer Organization, BEUC, which is a consumer lobbying group, said that customers tend not to compare prices between countries and often do not realize that there is an “unjustified price difference.”
The Irish Times reports that the price of a package ticket bought in France costs “1,346 Euros” while those bought in Germany cost 2,447 Euros and in Britain, 1,870 Euros, all for the same package. The accusations of geoblocking’ come as part of a wider investigation into price discrimination in Europe. The European Commission attacked France’s practice of “rigging” and accused them of breaking European laws by forcing foreign visitors to pay more for access to their park.
Companies like “Amazon” and “Spanish hoteliers” are also under the spotlight for Geoblocking. Paris Disney has been accused of offering cheap deals only to French and Belgium residents. The EU Commissioner of the Single Market, Elzbieta Beinowska said, “I struggle to see to what objective justification there could be for these practices.”
A spokesperson for Disneyland Paris told the Commission that “the price of a standard ticket was the same across the European market.” However, regulators are not satisfied that this is the case, noting a 15 percent difference in day-tickets across Europe. They have called on the French government to investigate online package deal comparisons, according to Signal Live.
The Commission intends to clamp down on all consumer services that do not comply with EU regulations. According to France24, six car rental companies were accused of geoblocking last year. Five of those companies have agreed to fairer deals for all users.
By Shirley Good