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Verdict against Amazon

Breach of European law

Amazon is not just an online shopping platform. The company also offers a fee-based subscription with extended services and features. "Prime" subscribers have access to video and music streaming and get their deliveries faster.

Misleading wording

The German consumer association Verbraucherzentrale-Bundesverband (vzbv) filed a legal action against Amazon, claiming that the costs of the subscription were not clearly stated at the website. A court in Cologne decided in favor of the vzbv. When ordering the subscription, the order button stated "Test for free now - later fee-based" which was misleading according to the court. Consumers might believe that it was a short-term free offer. The wording does not explicitly indicate that the subscription would definitely become a fee-based contract. Amazon therefore did not comply to the so called "button solution" that applies throughout the EU.

According to the EU regulation, it has to be clearly stated that an order will carry costs. The last button has to be labelled accordingly, e.g. with "buy now" instead of "order now".

The verdict is final.

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