Thursday, 11 July 2019

Orth Kluth successful for BürgerGas against unfair behavior of consumer portal Finanztip

The Higher Regional Court Dresden sentences the well-known consumer information portal Finanztip Verbraucherinformation gemeinnützige GmbH to refrain from unlabelled commercial contents and misleading information (judgment of 05.07.2019, file no. 14 U 207/19, not yet legally binding, no appeal allowed).

Background of the procedure are the comparison computers for electricity and gas of Finanztip. These are mentioned again and again on the Finanztip website and are additionally included in editorial articles through links. These comparison calculators obtain data from the CHECK24 and VERIVOX portals, whereby Finanztip - according to its own information - filters the results using its own default settings. The user is then shown offers from energy providers that are provided with so-called affiliate links.

Since Finanztip receives a commission for concluding a contract after clicking on such an affiliate link, the Higher Regional Court of Dresden classifies Finanztip's conduct as an unfair business act because there is no sufficient identification of the commercial content. The Dresden Higher Regional Court thus follows the arguments of Orth Kluth and in this context condemns Finanztip in addition to omitting certain misleading statements about freedom from advertising, if such a commercial affiliate marketing system exists.

The court of first instance (Landgericht Leipzig, Ref. 5 O 2367/17) dismissed the complaint with reference to the media privilege. With the appeal directed against this, Orth Kluth for BürgerGas enforced the injunctive relief claims.

Orth Kluth advises BürgerGas already for several years in the pursuit of competition injuries in the energy sector. In the process, Orth Kluth successfully enforced, both in court and out of court for BürgerGas, that Länder, cities and municipalities must refrain from influencing competition in the energy sector by making unobjective recommendations from competitors. Orth Kluth für BürgerGas has also enforced the obligation to label commercial content against newspaper publishers.

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Claire Jablonka
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