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Case detail

B a c k

Directive article Article 5 4.
Article 9 al1 (d)
National ID PS2629
Country Italy Decision date 02/12/2009
Common name SOGEVE ITALIA-DEPURATORE TOP SMILE Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Rome) Plaintiff(s) Italian Competition Authority
Court translation Italian Competition Authority Defendant(s) SOGEVE ITALIA S.r.l.
Subject right of withdrawal
Keywords doorstep sellingaggressive commercial practicespaymentpenaltiesright of withdrawal

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It constitutes an aggressive commercial practice to obstruct a consumer in exercising his right of withdrawal by imposing high penalties in case of withdrawal.


Further to several consumer complaints, the Italian Competition Authority started on 23 July 2009 its investigation proceedings against SOGEVE ITALIA S.r.l., a company active in the commercialisation of products for domestic use (such as heating instruments and air conditioners) that are produced by third parties. 

The two allegations investigated by the Authority consisted of:

(1) Providing misleading information and omitting material information to consumers in the context of the door-to-door sale of domestic products, as well as requesting the payment of the products on a subsequent visit.

(2) Obstructing the consumer in exercising his right of withdrawal.

Legal issue

Is it misleading to obstruct a consumer in exercising his right of withdrawal by imposing high penalties in case of withdrawal?


The Italian Competition Authority decided that the obstruction to exercise the right of withdrawal constitutes an aggressive commercial practice: by preventing the consumer to exercise the right of withdrawal, the trader significantly impairs (or is likely to significantly impair) the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct with regard to the product, and thereby causes him (or is likely to cause him) to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.

The complaint regarding the misleading and omitted information in the context of the door-to-door sale was dismissed, since consumers were deemed to have consciously executed proper agreements, and were also deemed to be provided with sufficient material information.

  URL Decision Decision full text


The Italian Competition Authority decided to fine Sogeva  ITALIA S.r.l. for an amount equal to 10.000 EUR.

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