Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in April

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in April

Here are this month's 'top 5' developments, as extracted from our Lexis®PSL Commercial monthly round-up.

Of particular interest is the Nemzeti Fogyasztóvédelmi Hatóság v UPC Magyarország Kft case—for two reasons:

  1. The comedic value of seeing if any English speaker can even approximate a decent pronunciation of it without bruising his or her tongue (to be fair, it is probably easier to think of it as the 'National Consumer Protection Authority v UPC Hungary' case), and
  2. The fact that it highlights the far-reaching impact of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (implemented into English and Welsh law by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008).

In this case, an invoice sent to just one cable TV customer turned out to be in a wrong amount by about £16. As a result, UPC Hungary was fined by Hungary's National Consumer Protection Authority under the local equivalent of the 2008 regulations.

'To err is human,' Alexander Pope once said.

Alas, not if you are selling to consumers under the unfair commercial practices regime.

This case and others show the need for businesses which sell to consumers to have robust systems in place to keep mistakes to an absolute minimum. The Court of Justice of the EU is taking a strong stand on consumer protection and there is no reason to think that it will stop doing so.

So what else has been going on?

Check out the developments below:

Consumer protection: CJEU rules on misleading commercial practices

The CJEU has made a preliminary ruling in Nemzeti Fogyasztóvédelmi Hatóság v UPC Magyarország Kft  that Directive 2005/29/EU, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD), had to be interpreted as meaning that the communication, by a professional to a consumer, of erroneous information, should be classified as a 'misleading commercial practice' under the UCPD, even though that information concerned only one single consumer.

In addition, it ruled that following the decision in CHS Tour Services GmbH v Team4 Travel GmbH, the UCPD had to be interpreted as meaning that, if a commercial practice met all of the criteria specified in Directive 2005/29/EU, art 6(1) for classification as a misleading practice in relation to the consumer, it was not necessary further to determine whether such practice was also contrary to the requirements of professional diligence, as referred to in Directive 2005/29/EU, art 5(2)(a), for it legitimately to be regarded as unfair and, consequently, prohibited in accordance with Directive 2005/29/EU, art 5(1).

Consumer protection: Which? launches super-complaint about grocery pricing practices

Which? has made a Which? super-complaint under the Enterprise Act 2002 (EnA 2002) to the CMA about misleading and opaque pricing practices.

The practices of concern are:

  • confusing and misleading spe

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