The European Commission (EC) has denounced that 43% of websites failed to comply during the ‘Black Friday’ campaign with the rules imposed by the European Union (EU) according to which stores, when announcing a discount, must indicate the price lowest that has been applied to the product in the last 30 days.
As they explain in a statement, the Commission and 13 national consumer protection authorities have carried out an analysis of various websites and have denounced that more than half of the monitored products have presented a price reduction in which 43% were ” elements incompatible with EU law”.
The EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, has pointed out that the results of the analysis show a breach of community law and that “the ends exposed to a large number of false discounts and unfair commercial practices.” “Good deals should be a real advantage and not a manipulative marketing technique. They should always be based on a specific price difference,” Reynders explained.
The national authorities, under the coordination of the Commission, monitored the prices of 16,000 products from 176 websites over the course of a month with the aim of verifying how the online discounts were presented during the ‘Black Friday’ campaign and verifying whether the shops complied with the Price Indication directive.
Some websites increased the prices of their products the weeks or days prior to ‘Black Friday’ and, by reducing their price again, they showed the consumer a discount that, if the initial price is taken as a reference, is not the one that corresponds, the Commission has explained.
For this reason, European regulations establish that, when making a discount on a product, it must be announced based on the lowest price applied by the merchant during a period of time of not less than 30 days. According to Brussels, the authorities must now contact interested merchants to request changes in their practices and, if necessary, initiate enforcement actions that, if they do not change their trade policy, could result in fines.