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Case detail



Directive article Article 5 2. (a)
Article 5 2. (b)
National ID 6 U 94/09
Country Germany Decision date 11/09/2009
Common name Decision type Court decision in appeal
Court Oberlandesgericht - OLG (Köln) Plaintiff(s) not disclosed
Court translation Higher Regional Court (Cologne) Defendant(s) car dealer - name not disclosed
Subject misleading price
Keywords discountsmisleading priceprofessional diligence

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Headnote

Deliberately omitting a reference to the government-sponsored car scrap bonus in the calculation of the price of a car, can noticeably affect the interests of consumers. Such advertisement is unfair according to § 4 No. 11 UWG (the German Unfair Competition Act) and exceeds the threshold of § 3 I UWG, as it can noticeably impair the interests of consumers.

Facts

The defendant advertised a car with a clearly visible price of 5.990 EUR. However, the actual demand for payment was 8.490 EUR (this final price was only included in a small font in a footnote). The difference between the two prices was due to a car scrap bonus, which was granted and paid by the German government.

According to § 1 VI PAngV (the German rules on price advertisements), the final price must be clearly stated. By only highlighting the discounted price, and only mentioning in the footnote that the final price has to be paid to the car dealer, while the discounted price is only available after retrieving the price difference from the German government, § 1 VI PAngV and thus § 4 No. 11 UWG may be violated.

The plaintiff requested a cease-and-desist order for comparable advertisements in the future.

Legal issue

Can the omission of the car scrap bonus in an advertisement noticeably affect the interests of consumers and therefore constitute a violation of German unfair competition law?

Decision

The final price was not "highlighted" in the respective advertisement as requested by § 1 VI PAngV. According to the court, this fact constitutes a misleading price advertisement that is able to noticeably affect the interests of consumers, and therefore constitutes a violation of German unfair competition law, in particular § 4 No. 11 UWG in conjunction with § 1 VI PAngV.

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Result

The plaintiff's request was granted.

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