Ómnibus directive and discounts on prices

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Ómnibus directive and discounts on prices

Ómnibus directive and discounts on prices

The Omnibus Directive, whose transposition is mandatory for EU Member States, establishes a regulatory framework that regulates various economic and commercial activities, with the aim of promoting fair competition and protecting the interests of consumers.

In Spain, this Directive was transposed by Royal Decree 24/2021, which amended the Law on Consumers and Users, the Law on Retail Trade and the Law on Unfair Competition. These amendments were fully applicable as of 28 May 2022 and have a direct impact on e-commerce, marketplaces and platforms that offer products and services to consumers in Spain.

This Royal Decree modifies the consumer sanctioning regime, incorporates new definitions and obligations and introduces new unfair practices affecting reviews and price indication.

The aim of this regulation and, specifically, of the modifications regarding discounts, is to offer healthier competition between companies and greater transparency and protection with respect to the interests and rights of users, who are the ultimate recipients of the goods and services on which these discounts are applied.

Modifications on prices and discounts

The approval and consequent transposition of the Omnibus Directive in Spain and the EU context brings with it a series of legal changes in different areas:

  • Price reductions: Traders will have to specify the lowest price that has been charged for the good or service for at least 30 days prior to the price reduction. This shall include any other price reduction that has taken place during that period.

Accordingly, a product may not be advertised as discounted if the price has not previously been at a higher value. This is also reflected in Article 24.2 of the Retail Trade Act, which states: “Products not previously offered for sale at the regular price, as well as products that have deteriorated or have been acquired with the intention of being sold at a lower price than the regular price, cannot be classified as being sold at a discount.

  • Surreptitious advertising: although this was an aspect that had already been worked on before, this regulation places greater emphasis on the need for this type of action.
  • Reviews: A review verification system needs to be implemented so that consumers can form an informed opinion about the products or services offered.
  • “Free” services: these are services that, although they have been on the rise in recent times, are free for the user in exchange for the use of their personal data, a product or service is offered at no additional cost.

What consumers must know about Omnibus Directive

As we have indicated, consumers are the main beneficiaries of the implementation of the Omnibus Directive because of the advantages in terms of clarity and transparency that it offers, as well as with regard to the obligations for businesses in the different areas that have been indicated.

In this sense, users and consumers should be aware of the improvements in their rights that the implementation of this new regulation entails.

Thus, they should be aware that the defence of their rights and legitimate interests has been facilitated, obliging the Member States of the European Union to include specific mechanisms so that those affected by unlawful conduct can be compensated more easily.

At Letslaw we are specialists in e-commerce legal advice, and we can help you comply with the regulations that apply to you in this area.

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