EU moves closer to removing barriers for online media subscriptions

The Netflix sign on is shown on an iPad in Encinitas, California, April 19,2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union institutions moved a step closer on Tuesday to letting consumers access their online subscriptions for services like Netflix or Sky when they travel across the bloc.

The agreement between the European Parliament and Malta, which acts on behalf of all 28 EU states as the bloc’s current presidency, is another step in an EU drive to knock down barriers in the single market of 500 million people.

Letting people take their online subscriptions abroad comes after the bloc has already decided to abolish roaming charges for using mobile phones when traveling within the EU.

The agreement must still be formally approved, though that is seen as a formality. It is aimed at people temporarily in another EU country for holidays, business trips or studies.

While meant to benefit consumers, the decision has been contested by rights-holders, who say the principle of territoriality is key to their financing rules.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Adrian Croft