Online advertising restrictions in the spotlight again

Following on from the Roma-branded Mobility Scooters case earlier this year, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced a second decision on mobility scooters. The full text is not yet available, but it is clear that in Pride the OFT’s concerns were similar insofar as online advertising was concerned.

Various OFT guidance (now also adopted by the Competition and Markets Authority) has long emphasised that restrictions on advertising can be potentially problematic, in particular if parties are prevented from advertising prices, or prices below a minimum or recommended level. This was also made abundantly clear in the OFT’s 2003 decision in Lladró. The importance placed by the OFT on preserving consumer trust in online markets was also stressed in a 2010 market study on online behavioural advertising and price targeting…

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