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[FYI] Lex: German e-commerce (Wer den Schaden hat, braucht fuer Gespoett nicht mehr zu sorgen)


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Lex: German e-commerce

Published: October 16 2000 20:08GMT | Last Updated: October 16 2000 

As if making shops close at 8pm on weekdays and from 4pm on Saturdays 
through to Monday mornings were not enough, Germany's antiquated 
retail regulations risk driving e-commerce groups out of the country. 
Two recent rulings highlight the regulations' eccentricity.  

Hamburg's district court upheld a competitor's complaint that online 
retailer Letsbuyit was breaking two laws. Letsbuyit's "co-buying" 
business model - cutting the price of goods the more people apply to 
buy them - broke the 1933 Rabattgesetz because it meant some 
customers paid lower prices than others. It contravened the 1909 
Gesetz gegen unlauteren Wettbewerb since it "exploited the thrill of 
gambling". A Cologne court said Germany's PrimusPowerShopping, 
another co-buying site, contravened the latter law because its sales 
methods were "excessively alluring" and encouraged customers to make 
unplanned purchases. Isn't that the whole point?  


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