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Case detail



Directive article Article 7 1.
Article 7 4. (c)
Article 7 4. (e)
National ID PS5916
Country Italy Decision date 03/11/2010
Common name "MEDIASET PREMIUM-OMISSIONI INFORMATIVE" Decision type Administrative decision, first degree
Court Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Rome) Plaintiff(s) Sky Italia S.r.l.
Court translation Italian Competition Authority Defendant(s) Reti Televisive Italiane S.p.A.
Subject invitation to purchase
Keywords price informationproduct characteristics

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Headnote

The reference to the documentation in which the conditions of an invitation to purchase are established in full, does not suffice to exclude infringement on the prohibition on misleading omissions, even when the advertisement is broadcasted through communication media which entail certain limitations.

Facts

On 19 April 2010, the plaintiff, a pay-tv supplier, reported the possible unfairness of several advertisements which its competitor, the defendant, broadcasted between January and April 2010, concerning an offer advertised as “Calcio, cinema, serie TV e Disney Channel a 19,90 EURO al mese” ("Football, movies, television series and Disney Channel for 19,90 EURO per month").

On 9 June 2010, the Italian Competition Authority decided to start investigation proceedings against RTI S.p.A. Investigations mainly related to the alleged omission of defendant to provide sufficient information on: (i) the period of the advertised monthly price; (ii) possible charges to the consumers; (iii) the duration of the contract and the nature and terms of the subscription; (iv) the costs charged to the consumer in the event of withdrawal; (v) the period of the offer; (vi) the cost of the phone call to the customer care.

The defendant stated that, due to the limitations of the communication media it used (radio and television advertisements), it was limited in its possibility to offer full information to the consumers. In each advertisement the defendant was referred to the full text of the conditions of the offer, which was consultable on the defendant's website and in leaflets available in each point of sale of the defendant.

Legal issue

Does a reference to the documentation in which the conditions of an invitation to purchase are established in full, suffice to exclude infringement on the prohibition on misleading omissions, when the advertisement is broadcasted through communication media which entail certain limitations?

Decision

The court first established in a short reasoning that the advertisements of the defendant omitted material information (on the price and related charges, the duration of the contract, the possibility to subscribe, etc.) the average consumer needs to take an informed decision.

The court further considered that a simple reference to the documentation in which the conditions are established in full, is not sufficient, not even when the advertisement is broadcasted through communication media which entail certain limitations. In the court's view, an offer to the public must contain all sufficient information as to allow the consumer to correctly understand the offer and may not mislead the consumer.

  URL Decision Decision full text
EN N/A
IT http://www.agcm.it/ricerca-avanzata/open/C12560D000291394/4D8B828602838D49C12577E50033A00C.html

Result

On the basis of the gravity and duration of the practice, the Italian Competition Authority decided to fine the defendant and imposed the defendant to cease the unfair behavior.

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