ECJ overrules cheapest supermarket claim
19 September 2006, BRUSSELS — The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Colruyt cannot simply say that it is the cheapest supermarket.
19 September 2006
BRUSSELS — The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Colruyt cannot simply say that it is the cheapest supermarket.
The ECJ said price comparison advertisements are allowed, but only for clearly comparable products.
The ruling was handed down after the Lidl supermarket chain lodged a complaint, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.
Lidl had lodged a complaint in Belgium against a Colruyt advertising campaign and the Brussels Commercial Court referred the case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling.
According to the ECJ, a comparison on the general price levels of an advertiser against a competitor is misleading if it is not certain which products are being compared.
The court had no problems, however, with advertisements that compared the prices of a certain packet of products.
Not every product in that packet would need to be explicitly identified, but the ECJ said the consumer must be clearly informed where he or she can obtain more information about the comparison.
It must also be clear what packet of products was subjected to the price comparison.
A Belgian judge will now have to decide to what extent Colruyt was operating within the regulations.
Colruyt director Luc Rogge was pleased with the ECJ ruling. "It was 90 percent favourable," he said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news