European Commission


Case detail

Directive article Article 6 1. (b)
Article 7 4. (c)
National ID Decision no. RWA-25/2010
Country Poland Decision date 28/12/2010
Common name Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów, Delegatura w Warszawie Plaintiff(s) Prezes Urzędu Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów
Court translation The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Delegature in Warsaw Defendant(s) Eko-Park S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw
Subject price information
Keywords limited availabilitymisleading advertisingmisleading priceprice information

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(1) Advertisements in which prices are indicated towards consumers infringe the prohibition on misleading commercial practices when the indicated prices are exclusive of VAT. 

(2) The indication of minimum price of a product is misleading, when in reality no products can be obtained at that minimum price.


The defendant is a joint-stock company that provides services including building and selling apartments.

In a complaint addressed to the President, the consumers indicated that the defendant advertised apartments using phrases as “It’s cheaper than you might think. Prices starting from 9000 PLN for square meter” (“Jest taniej niż sądzisz. Ceny od 9000 zł/m2”). However, it turned out that there were no apartments available for the price as indicated in the advertisement. Moreover, the price indicated in the advertisement did not include VAT.

The defendant argued that there was a limited number of flats available for the price mentioned in the advertisement. However, the price of such apartments was lower in comparison with the majority of apartments offered, due to the unfavourable location of the former. 

Legal issue

(1) Does the indication in a consumer advertisement of prices excluding VAT constitute a misleading commercial practice?

(2) Does the indication of a price of an apartment, while in reality no apartments for such price are available, constitute a misleading commercial practice?


(1) The President pointed out that it is the obligation of the trader, based on the provisions of law, to indicate the gross price to consumers, i.e. the price including all taxes (and VAT). Such obligation applies to all communications from the trader to the consumers. 

In the case at hand, the consumer could assume that the price offered by the defendant included all necessary elements, and therefore, could assume that the price offered by the defendant was particularly attractive in comparison with prices offered by other traders. The President argued that price-related information is one of the key conditions which enable the consumer to make an informed transactional decision. In the present case, the defendant clearly emphasized its prices towards the consumers and convinced the consumer about the attractiveness thereof. The President concluded that presenting a price in an advertisement which does not include VAT, may distort the economic behavior of the average consumer. 
(2) With regard to the fact that the advertisement suggested availability of apartments for the price indicated therein (while in fact no such apartments were offered by the trader), the President stated that the consumer could expect with good reason that there was a possibility to buy an apartment for this price. 
As the defendant knew that it would not be able to offer apartments for the advertised price, it undoubtedly committed an unfair commercial practice. 

  URL Decision Decision full text


The defendant breached the prohibition on misleading commercial practices.

The President ordered to stop using the contested practice; in addition, he ordered to publish the administrative decision on the website of the defendant (by posting the link to the full text of the decision) which was to be maintained on the website for a period of 14 days as from the date of the decision becoming final. 
Moreover, the President imposed a financial penalty upon the defendant, to be paid to the state budget and amounting to PLN 213,185. 

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