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Protecting business from misleading marketing practices
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Published on 27-11-12

The European Commission is looking into steps to better protect European businesses from misleading marketing practices. Each year thousands of mainly small businesses, independent professionals (like doctors) or non-governmental organisations are targeted by traders who pretend to offer services for free or charge massive fees for simple tasks (such as registering a domain or a trademark). The UK alone has reported 1 318 complaints between 2008 and 2010.

    Protecting business from misleading marketing practices

    At this stage the Commission wants to step up enforcement by improving coordination between member states so that they are able to share information about existing misleading practices and set common priorities. In 2013 the Commission plans to initiate legislative action that would explicitly ban certain practices, improve cooperation between the relevant national authorities and ascertain there are dissuasive and appropriate sanctions in place to prevent these misleading practices. Any legislative proposal will first be subject to a strict impact assessment to check how any future rules will affect businesses and whether a legislative proposal is the best option to address the situation.
    The initiative focuses on businesses. Consumers are already protected by a different piece of EU legislation - Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Commercial Practices. The Commission intends to present a comprehensive report on the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive early in 2013.

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    Last update: 27/11/2012  |Top