Competition Office Starts Procedure Against Temu's European Operator

Retail

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Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) on Wednesday announced the launch of a procedure against Whaleco Technology, the European operator of Chinese-owned online marketplace Temu, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

GVH had announced a probe two weeks earlier of business practices on the Temu platform after receiving a number of reports.

On Wednesday, GVH said its experts had assessed those reports and collected information, and the oversight procedure was launched on that basis.

Messages on the Temu platform urging consumers to "hurry up" with their purchases because a limited number of the products are left, or touting products rated "five stars" by earlier buyers is likely a form of "psychological pressure", while promises of discounts of "as much as 95%" could be misleading, GVH said.

With the launch of the procedure, GVH aims to clarify the facts and determine whether violations indeed took place. The initial timeframe for the procedure is three months.

GVH noted that fines levied in oversight procedures are capped at 13% of global, consolidated revenue.

GVH pays close attention to the practices of tech companies and online market platforms that affect the interests of large numbers of consumers and businesses, and has required Google and PayPal to take remedial measures and sanctioned Apple and Booking.com in recent years. A year ago, e-commerce platform Wish agreed to modify its business practices to avoid a fine after a GVH probe, and GVH closed a probe of TikTok in November that achieved a global impact.

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