1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

EU unveils 'New Deal for Consumers'

January 8, 2020

The European Union has targeted "rogue traders and online tricksters" in new rules to protect consumers online. Companies operating in the EU could be hit with hefty penalties if they violate the rules.

Woman using a laptop computer in darkness with her hands illuminated by the computer screen isolated on black background
Image: picture-alliance/All Canada Photos/A. Maxim

The EU on Tuesday launched the "New Deal for Consumers" aimed at reining in "rogue traders and online tricksters."

"The new rules will increase protection for consumers in (the) digital world, which they rightly deserve," said EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova.

She urged EU member states to adopt the new rules "without delay." EU countries have up to two years to adopt the rules.

Read more: Online platforms in Germany fail to meet EU data protection rules: study

The new rules:

  • Ban traders from using automated bots to buy tickets for concerts or sporting events in bulk in order to sell them at an inflated price.
  • Ban traders from placing fake consumer reviews on their websites.
  • Inform consumers if an offered price is the result of browsing patterns and higher than other offers provided within a 30 day period.
  • Ensure price reductions are genuine by forcing traders to show the price given 30 days prior.

Read more: Many Germans unaware of EU benefits

Penalties for violators

The new rules also set out penalties for those who violate them. EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said fines would amount to at least 4% of annual turnover.

"Today we are sending a strong warning to traders that they should play by the rules, not bend them," said Reynders. "This will be a sufficiently dissuasive and effective penalty to prevent dishonest traders from cheating."

Read more: EU gives Facebook, Twitter ultimatum on consumer protection laws

Every evening, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

ls/se (AFP, dpa)