Schedule 25: Information society services
1005.This Schedule ensures that the provisions of the Act do not conflict with the requirements of European Directive 2000/31/EC of 8 June 2000, known as the E-Commerce Directive. The Directive concerns information society services, which are services provided from a distance by means of electronic equipment to businesses and consumers such as on-line shopping, direct marketing and advertising. It provides that where an information society service provider is established in Great Britain, the provisions of the Act apply to anything done by it in providing the information society service in another EEA state other than the United Kingdom. By contrast, where the provider is established in an EEA state other than the United Kingdom, then the Act does not apply to anything done by the provider in providing the information society service. Various exceptions to the provisions of the Act are provided in respect of intermediary internet service providers who carry out activities essential for the operation of the internet
1006.These provisions are new. They are necessary to ensure the United Kingdom correctly transposes the Directive.
An on-line holiday company established in Great Britain refuses to take bookings for shared accommodation from same-sex couples. In this instance a case of direct sexual orientation discrimination could be brought in the British courts regardless of whether the complainant was in the United Kingdom or another EEA member state.
An on-line retailer, which provides tickets to major sporting events, provides discounts to large groups of men but not women when booking hospitality packages for the forthcoming football world cup. The on-line retailer is established in Germany, so in this instance a case of direct sex discrimination would have to be brought in the German courts regardless of whether the complainant was in the United Kingdom or another EEA member state.