On the comparison portal Check24, the tariffs of the insurance company HUK and Allianz have been listed for years with the note that price calculation and contract conclusion are not possible via the website. The reason for this is that HUK has no cooperation with Check24 and therefore does not pay any commission to the price comparison platform. HUK brought an action before the Cologne Regional Court against the naming and use of its own brands and logos in Check24 comparisons. In addition, HUK took action against the advertising slogan of the “nowhere cheaper guarantee”. While the lawsuit had been filed with regard to the slogan, HUK lost the first instance with regard to the listing, as the Regional Court was of the opinion that consumers would also sort according to criteria other than price and would not necessarily take the low-cost provider.
The case was thus decided at the Cologne Higher Regional Court. The OLG now took the view that product comparisons were permissible in principle, but that this only applied to pure price comparisons. In the absence of prices in the comparison, this would constitute unfair comparative advertising pursuant to Section 6 para. 2 No. 2 UWG are present.
The OLG did not allow an appeal.
By the way, there are now a large number of rulings on various types of comparison platforms, most of which revolve around whether Section 6(2) is really being complied with. Accordingly, comparative advertising is unlawful if, in the course of trade, there is a likelihood of confusion between the advertiser and a competitor, the goods, services, activities or personal or business circumstances of a competitor are disparaged, or the reputation of a trademark used by a competitor is unfairly exploited. Here, in the context of an audit of the online presence, both the concrete way of comparison and things like the user interface and user guidance will have to be evaluated.