Online Unfair Commercial Practices:
A European Overview

by Mariacristina Zarro

The supranational economic paradigm considers the weak user a tool for the realization of the market: through his choices (contracts) he rewards companies that contribute to offering products at the best quality-price ratio, thus playing a central and propulsive role in the European common market. To do this, however, he needs correct information and conduct that today we try to guarantee through the integrated regulation, always of European derivation, relating to information obligations in contracts with consumers, that on misleading and comparative advertising, and especially that which governs the phenomenon of unfair commercial practices. The fight against the latter becomes indispensable for the purpose of creating the internal market. Yet, to date there is still no regulation concerning the fact that conflicts with these practices are carried out online. The numerous cases brought to the attention of the antitrust authorities in recent years require to analyze these practices, even when these are subtly perpetrated online. It is necessary to investigate whether the discipline, including the more recent European one, is able to respond to the new way of being of the markets and whether the current binary system of public and private enforcement is suitable to deal with the fight against these practices that are harmful to both the consumer and the internal market.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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