Advertising Law/ Competition Law

All areas concerning media are accompanied by measures of the so-called “marketing mix”; the media often do not have detailed insight into the legal situation of the advertising they have placed on the market. This applies to cinema advertising, television advertising, and printed advertising as well as for new forms of advertising such as Adwords / Adsense, SEO, SEM, etc. Nevertheless, the liability of the media can easily and quickly be labelled as “harassing”. In these cases of ​​tension we advise and represent media companies such as advertisers and advertising agencies comprehensively on all kinds of competition law matters.

What does competition law concern?

Competition law and antitrust or advertising laws do not concern the same matters; advertising in terms of single measures of the marketing mix is here regulated. This is done independently from the used medium and is separated from the addressed audience. Thus, even a single letter from a company to a customer already presents itself as “advertising”, in legal sense.

In case of anticompetitive behaviour, we usually proceed with a first written warning in addition to an invitation for submission of a declaration of discontinuance. This is an unregulated legal institution. The authorized warned person must usually reimburse the reminding competitor the costs of the legal recourse. These costs can start at around EUR 500 in the case of relatively simple “non-dangerous” infringements and can quickly reach a four-digit range. Also in the light of this circumstance, a prior examination of the marketing measure is recommended.

If, on the other hand, there is no adequate declaration of discontinuance, the competitor may seek for judicial assistance. After the expiring of the period of notice (which is often really short), a provisional injunction procedure can be carried out. The overall procedure can include two summary and three main proceedings.

What can we do for you?

We are active in the following, non-conclusive cases:

•    Examination of individual advertising measures (classic and modern media);

•    Examination of external corporate communications;

•    Preparation of legal opinions;

•    Creation of competition law strategies;

•    Enforcement of competition law claims;

•    Defense of alleged claims of your competitors