PS12233 - Italian Competition Authority: Mediamarket fined 3.6 million euro for unfair commercial practice
According to the Authority, the company, owner of the Mediaworld trade mark, imposed the purchase of accessory products and used misleading promotional methods
The Italian Competition Authority has imposed a fine of 3.6 million euro on Mediamarket for a commercial conduct implemented in various Mediaworld stores, located throughout the country.
According to the Authority, the company used misleading methods to promote certain products, often presented for promotion - both in leaflets and in signs located in the stores - which were instead tied together and sold with an accessory product. As a consequence, consumers paid a price that was higher than and different from the one advertised. Mediamarket also implemented unfair and aggressive practices, which coerced consumers into purchasing accessory products they would not have otherwise purchased, thus incurring an unforeseen additional cost.
The Authority found that the trader adopted such a commercial practice for products that are particularly attractive to consumers, such as smartphones, PCs, iPads, Playstations, Smart TVs, which generally tend to have a significant price and are frequently displayed to the public “on offer”. In fact, tied sales of accessories are carried out and standardised precisely during the said offers, in which the “bundling” effect is particularly relevant and effective.
The Italian Competition Authority deems this practice to be capable of considerably restricting consumers’ freedom of choice in relation to the product to be purchased and induces them - surreptitiously - to make a transactional decision regarding the purchase of a product that they would not have otherwise made, violating the duty of care and constituting an unfair commercial practice.
Rome, 3 November 2022