Sunday 4 December 2016

Disneyland under investigation over claims of charging customers differently based on nationality

Cormac Fitzgerald

Published 29/07/2015 | 14:24

Mickey and Mini Mouse at Disneyland, Paris
Mickey and Mini Mouse at Disneyland, Paris

Disneyland Paris are under investigation by the EU for allegedly charging different prices to customers depending on what country they’re from.

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The Financial Times reports that the theme park is allegedly overcharging British and German customers.

In some cases, the European Commission claims, French consumers will pay €1,346 for a premium package, while British visitors are charged €1,870 and Germans €2,447.

The charging of different prices on different nationalities within the EU is against their consumer laws.

Independent.ie found that a weekend at the the end of September, for three nights with two adults and two children would cost €1,609. Including flights the total cost would come to €1924.

There have been a number of complaints to the commission from consumers about charges at Disneyland, with accusations that the park has been blocking access to cheap deals available to residents of France or Belgium.

This is done by redirecting consumers to more expensive sites on their national websites and selective deals and rules that only apply in certain circumstances.

Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU Commissioner for the single market, said that the complaints were ‘very significant’.

“It is time to get to the bottom of this.

“I am interested in answers and explanations. On the face of it, I struggle to see what objective justification there could be for these practices,” she told the Financial Times.

A spokesperson for BEUC, the European consumers group, welcomed the investigation.

“Geoblocking can lead to price discrimination, is against single market principles and restricts consumer choice,” they said.

The investigation follows on the back of last week’s accusations by the commission into several Hollywood studios (including Disney), accusing them of breaching antitrust laws by blocking content in different European countries.  

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