Last week's ratification by the European Parliament of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was hailed yesterday by EU health and consumer protection commissioner Markos Kyprianou.
"This law marks a big step forward for consumers and for EU competitiveness," he said. "It boosts the protection consumers enjoy across the EU, while simplifying the regulatory environment for businesses."
In all there are twenty-eight business practices now specifically defined as unlawful, among them ...
Advertising to children
The EU claims that by defining only what should be prohibited rather than telling firms how to go about their business, the law leaves room for business to innovate in developing new, fair commercial practices.
Companies who comply with the rules will be able to do business in all EU countries. Independent economic studies predict the new law will increase consumer choice, stimulate competition and enlarge the horizons of small and medium sized businesses in Europe.
The law is expected to be formally endorsed by the Council of Ministers in the coming weeks and should be implemented EU-wide by 2007.
Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff