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Parliamentary questions
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7 November 2019
E-002852/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002852/2019

EU legislation protects consumers by obliging traders to indicate at all times the total price to be paid, which must include applicable charges and taxes that are unavoidable and foreseeable(1).

Price information must not be misleading which includes situations where advertised price reductions give consumers the impression that they are being offered a more significant discount than what is really the case(2). When traders are aware of the possibility of sudden price changes, they have to make this clear to consumers(3).

The future Directive on better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer protection rules(4) further improves online transparency. The directive will ensure clarity for consumers when it comes to ranking of offers presented as search results. It will also increase transparency about the authenticity of consumer reviews.

Every year, the Commission coordinates screenings of websites that are carried out simultaneously by consumer protection authorities(5), including on the issue of price transparency. The 2016 sweep concerning travel booking websites flagged 235 websites for further investigation(6). The enforcement actions of the authorities resulted in the correction of 112 out of 124 websites found to have irregularities.

The Commission also coordinates joint actions of consumer authorities to tackle widespread infringements. Recently, Airbnb improved its price transparency, ensuring that the total price is inclusive of all applicable charges and fees(7).

(1)Article 7(4)(c) of Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, OJ L 149, 11.6.2015, p. 22.
(2)Article 6(1)(d) of Directive 2005/29/EC, see Guidance on the implementation/application of Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices, Section 3.3., SWD(2016)163 final of 25.5.2016.
(3)Guidance on the implementation/application of Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices, Section 5.3.1., SWD(2016)163 final of 25.5.2016.
(4)https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/infos-details.html?id=17481&type=Flash
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/enforcement-consumer-protection/sweeps_en
(6)https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-844_en.htm
(7)https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/enforcement-consumer-protection/coordinated-actions_en

Last updated: 7 November 2019Legal notice