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Case Details

Case Details
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Mitgliedstaat Deutschland
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Decision type Court decision in appeal
Decision date 13/08/2014
Gericht Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht Hamburg
Kläger Unknown
Beklagter Unknown (supplier of goods in electronic commerce)
Schlagworte competition, distance contracting, information obligation

Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 2, Article 5, 1., (d) Consumer Rights Directive, Chapter 3, Article 16, (d)

(1) Determining the essential characteristics of a good requires an evaluative consideration, which is individual and specific to the good. In the case of a sun umbrella, essential features are, in addition to the dimensions, shape and color, the fabric, the material of the frame and the weight of the object.
The applicant is a supplier of goods in electronic commerce. The goods include sun umbrellas. In the context of the product description for the umbrella, the applicant indicated that the fabric was 100% polyester, weather-resistant, rot-proof and light-weight and was naturally highly water-repellent. The dimensions, shape and color of the umbrella were also described.
(1) What are the essential characteristics of a good which the supplier is required to describe in a clear and understandable manner before the consumer places an order?
The court held that the consumer must be given information on the “essential characteristics” of goods offered for sale in electronic commerce in a clear and comprehensible manner before the consumer makes a purchase.
Furthermore, the court ruled that determining the "essential characteristics" of a good requires an evaluative consideration in individual cases. The answer to this question cannot be generalized and may also depend on the way in which the supplier advertises the goods in the online shop.
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The appeal was rejected. The plaintiff is ordered to pay a fine of up to € 250,000 for each violation and pay the legal costs of the remission and the appeal proceedings.