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Parliamentary questions
18 November 2005
E-4254/05
WRITTEN QUESTION by Simon Busuttil (PPE‑DE) to the Commission

 Subject:  European City Guide
 Answer(s) 

Several Maltese businesses have, of late, fallen victim to misleading advertising at the hands of a Spanish-based company operating under the trade-name of ‘European City Guide’. This company appears to rely on misleading advertising giving companies the impression that it will enter their company details, free of charge, into its guide or business directory. Subsequently, however, on the basis of the ‘small print’ the European City Guide exacts payments in the region of EUR 1000 for the inclusion in, as well as a copy of, its business directory.

Small businesses often sign up to this ‘free offer’ only to find out that it was not free at all.

It also appears that Maltese businesses are not the first to have been targeted by this misleading advertising and that the same has also happened in other EU countries such as the United Kingdom and France.

It also appears that this company was already fined and temporarily closed down by a Catalan court some years back. However, it is now back in business and is causing a great deal of distress to businesses, particularly small and one-person businesses.

Is the Commission aware of this consistent breach of EU law on misleading advertising and of its adverse cross-border implications?

What is the Commission doing about it?

 OJ C 327, 30/12/2006
Last updated: 13 December 2005Legal notice