European Commission

 

Case detail

B a c k

Directive article Article 6 1.
National ID 6744/2011, VII d.
Country Bulgaria Decision date 27/01/2012
Common name Decision type Supreme court decision
Court Върховен административен съд (София) Plaintiff(s) Bulgarian Telecommunication Company AD
Court translation Supreme Administrative Court (Sofia) Defendant(s) Consumer Protection Commission
Subject administrative authority
Keywords enforcementjudicial review

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Headnote

A consumer protection authority’s failure to benchmark the allegedly misleading effects of a commercial practice against the perception of an average informed consumer and the failure to state the exact legal grounds for establishing a breach of the unfair commercial practices provisions represents serious defects of the authority’s enforcement act and renders it liable for repeal. 

Facts

The defendant offered a package of fixed telephony services. The package was advertised in a way that suggested an “unlimited” use by the defendant of the fixed telephony services. In fact, the use was capped at 3,600 minutes of conversations.
The defendant asserted that this way of advertising was misleading because consumers were under the impression that they could use the plaintiff’s fixed telephony services without any limitations. However, the defendant lacked to specify the legal grounds on which, in its view, the plaintiff’s conduct had to be qualified as unfair.
 

Legal issue

Does a consumer protection authority’s failure to benchmark the allegedly misleading effects of a commercial practice against the perception of an average informed consumer and its failure to state the exact legal grounds for establishing a breach of the unfair commercial practices provisions, represent serious defects of the authority’s enforcement act and does it render this act liable for repeal? 

Decision

The court held that the failure to state the exact legal ground for the qualification of a practice as an unfair commercial practice, represents a failure to state reasons.

In addition, the court held, the defendant did not assess whether the practice in question would in fact mislead an average informed consumer.

These two deficiencies rendered the defendant’s enforcement act invalid.

  URL Decision Decision full text
BG http://www.sac.government.bg/court22.nsf/d6397429a99ee2afc225661e00383a86/51b195d20d899a95c225798f002cbdcc?OpenDocument
EN N/A

Result

cThe court has set aside the defendant’s ruling that the plaintiff breached the consumer protection rules.

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