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A company’s legal form as a GmbH is a key piece of information for consumers. Withholding information from advertisements about its legal form constitutes an antitrust violation according to a ruling of the LG Berlin.
Information that is crucial to consumers’ decision to purchase must not be withheld from them. This may include the company’s legal form. We at MTR Rechtsanwälte can report that according to a ruling of the LG Berlin, withholding this information from advertisements may amount to a breach of competition law.
The case concerned a company offering cultural events including refreshments on a ship. They were thus found by the court to be providing services in the field of culture. The members of the plaintiff association were also said to be operating in the same sector. The LG Berlin therefore concluded that they were competitors.
The defendant company had omitted references to its legal form as a GmbH in its advertising. In a ruling from August 6, 2019 (Az. 15 O 301/18), the LG Berlin held that in doing so it had violated rules governing market behavior and unfairly misled consumers by omission. The court went on to state that reference to the company’s legal form as a GmbH was a key piece of information for consumers, since booking in advance would entail a greater risk of insolvency than in the case of a sole trader.