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Austrian Furniture Retailer COMO Fined for Misleading Advertising

Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) fined the Austrian hipermarket for furniture and accessories Mebeli Ludwig Bulgaria EOOD (COMO) for misleading advertising. 

The CPC initiated the proceedings upon a claim filed by another furniture retailor Enikom-M OOD for violations in conjunction with Art. 29 and Art. 32 in connection with Art. 33 of the Law on Protection of Competition (LPC). 

It was found that in the period December 2016 and October 2017 Mebeli Ludwig Bulgaria EOOD offered a number of discounts for various goods. The discounted goods were advertised to have been reduced from the “previous goods” and from “the producer’s recommended price”. Following an inspection by the CPC it was found that the relevant producers and/or suppliers in fact do not require that the goods are sold at a price recommended by the producer.

Additionally, it was established that regardless of the way the discount price is calculated, there is no actual discount offered. On the basis of these findings the CPC imposed a fine amounting to 6% of the company’s net income for 2017 which amounts to 462 840 BGN or 236 646 EUR.
 
Furthermore, the CPC found that Mebeli Ludwig Bulgaria EOOD (COMO) was advertising the sale of kitchens over the radio by stating “Order only now” which according to the CPC implied that the discount is valid only for a short period of time. In fact the advertisement was on for a long period of time. Therefore, the CPC imposed an additional fine amounting to 1% of the annual net income for 2017 or 77 140 BGN or 39 441 EUR.
 

Author: Iana Roueva Madey

Source: Commission for Protection of Competition
MADARA LAW
111 Dimitar Petkov Blvd.
Office 3-6, Fl. 3
Sofia 1309
Bulgaria
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