Unfair Commercial Practices and Misleading and Comparative Advertising: An Analysis of the Harmonization of EU Legislation in View of the Italian Implementation of the Rules

Francesco Russo, Claudio Tesauro, Apr 24, 2008

Most antitrust experts tend to consider consumer protection the son of a lesser God in comparison to antitrust rules. Indeed, customer protection is the very essence of competition policy. A market that functions without distortions will benefit consumers capability to choose a larger variety of products at a cheaper price. However, not all market distortions fall within the notion of agreements and neither do they represent an abuse of market power, but very often they may constitute the result of an illegitimate aggressive or misleading behavior by companies. After decades of antitrust legislation and case law aimed at fine-tuning the level of protection to a common market, a directive to harmonize the level of consumer protection within the Member States has become essential.

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