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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: Consumer Protection

For the good of the consumer – consumer protection in the 9th amendment of the ARC

Provisions on consumer protection account for only a small part of the 9th amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (ARC), which recently came into force. However, the introduction of the reform has led to a highly controversial debate in the press and literature.

Consumer protection in Germany

Traditionally, private enforcement is the main means of protecting consumer rights in Germany. This involves consumers or, more probably, recognised consumer protection associations bringing private law actions to ensure that consumer protection provisions are applied. Unfair competition law plays a central role here. For example, consumer organisations issue cease and desist letters in response to breaches of general terms and conditions of business. If unsuccessful, they then take legal action.

Unlike previously, the debate about the 9th amendment of the ARC focused on strengthening public enforcement. Not that public enforcement of consumer protection law is completely unknown in Germany: the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) and the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur – BNetzA) already have powers to enforce consumer rights. BaFin is responsible for the protection of all consumers in the area of financial services, while the BNetzA monitors the misuse of phone numbers. As a result of the 9th amendment of the ARC, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) now also has powers to protect consumers.

Overhaul of Polish consumer law

Important amendments to Polish consumer protection law have been introduced which increase the risk of doing business in Poland. Please see our e-alert summarising the principal changes.  

Hot Topics at FDLI Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference

Topics discussed at the recent Food & Drug Law Institute’s (FDLI) Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference included FDA Center leaders’ enforcement priorities, interagency enforcement actions, the implications of increasing globalization, and the diversion of controlled substances.  Among the highlights: Joseph Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator in DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, said due diligence is the