25 Sep The act on market practices is no longer applied
On 5 July 2013, the Criminal Court of Nivelles acquitted a company that was sued for violation of the Act of 6 April 2010 on market practices and consumer protection, and in particular the provisions regulating the announcements of price reductions and clearance sales.
In this case, the sued company did not dispute the facts and, consequently, the violation of Belgian law regarding announcements of price reductions and clearance sales. On the other side, the defendant argued that the provisions of the Belgian law in question could not be applied because they were contrary to European law and, more specifically, to the Directive 2005/29/CE concerning unfair commercial practices towards consumers. The Court agreed with this argumentation and refused to apply the related provisions.
Several provisions of the law may now be challenged because of their potential incompatibility with EU law. In addition to announcements of price reductions and clearance sales, it is the provisions that regulate sales, announcements of price reductions in pre-sales periods and dumping (sales at a loss).
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