European Commission

 

Case detail

B a c k

Directive article Article 6 1. (d)
Article 7 1.
Article 7 3.
National ID 11/05403
Country France Decision date 22/01/2013
Common name 11/05403 Decision type Court decision in appeal
Court Cour d''appel de Paris Plaintiff(s) SA Société Concurrence
Court translation Court of Appeals Paris Defendant(s) Société Google Inc. and SARL Google France
Subject misleading commercial practices
Keywords decision to purchaseprice comparisonprice information

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Headnote

(1) Mentioning only some characteristics of the products in a price comparison engine website does not constitute an unfair commercial practice.
(2) Not updating permanently a price comparison engine website does not constitute an unfair commercial practice.
 

Facts

Defendant operates an online search engine allowing users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different traders who registered to this service free of charge.

The plaintiff sells electronic products and did not register for this service.

The plaintiff brought summary proceedings against the defendant notably for unfair commercial practices. The plaintiff's claim was denied in first instance. 
 

Legal issue

(1) Does only mentioning certain characteristics of the product on a price comparison engine website, constitute an unfair commercial practice?
(2) Does the absence of permanent update of a price comparison engine website constitute an unfair commercial practice? 
 

Decision

The court considered that consumers may access the traders' websites in order to get further information. If customers are not satisfied with this information, they may go back to the price comparison engine website and look at other traders' websites. According to the court, partial inaccuracy is not likely to materially alter the economic behaviour of the average consumer. Therefore, this commercial practice is not unfair.

Also, the court ruled that an absence of permanent and immediate updates is not technically feasible and in any event there is no evidence that the absence of immediate update alters consumers' behaviour.
 

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Result

The plaintiff's claim was denied.

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