GVH fines Alza.hu HUF 40 mln

Retail

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Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) said it fined online retailer alza.hu and its Czech parent company HUF 40 million for putting "psychological pressure" on potential customers, according to portfolio.hu.

GVH said the web store used conspicuous, flashing messages about the number of customers "interested in" or having "purchased in the last week" certain products to push potential customers to make purchases.

That is "in and of itself" an unfair business practice; however, some of the messages were also inaccurate, GVH said, noting that the number of customers "interested at the moment" was calculated using the views in all of the company's markets for a full day.

GVH also ordered the retailer to offer all of its customers who made purchases in 2019 a coupon for a HUF 3,000 discount off any purchase of HUF 10,000.

The value of those discounts must add up to HUF 450 mln or alza.hu must compensate customers directly or pay the difference in a fine.

GVH took into account alza.hu's acknowledgment of its wrongdoing and discontinuation of the practices.

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