E-commerce - Promotions without reference prices and unfair commercial practices

In a judgment of 8 September 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the French decree of 31 December 2008, which generally prohibits advertisements offering price reductions without displaying the reference price, did not comply with the European directive on unfair commercial practices.

According to the Court, the Directive precludes national provisions which lay down general prohibitions without a case-by-case assessment of whether they are unfair. Only 31 commercial practices are listed in the directive as 'deemed unfair' and do not require case-by-case examination. Offering a reduced price without displaying the reference price is not included in this list.

In the light of this decision, the Court of Cassation, which is the author of the preliminary question, will shortly be ruling on a decision by the Bordeaux Court of Appeal which condemned Cdiscount for having offered a price reduction without displaying the reference price. The Court is due to rule on whether the display of the reference price is a means of implementing a commercial practice or a commercial practice.

See the judgment

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