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Discount promotions may not be extended

Since I have currently just seen the opposite, I would like to briefly point out the following circumstance in the evening: Discount promotions may not be extended in principle. Otherwise warning!

Basically, of course, anyone is allowed to offer discount promotions in order to advertise their products or services or to promote their sales. However, this type of advertising must not be unfair and must therefore also comply with the rules of the UWG. This includes that from the very beginning, you need to set a fixed expiration date for the discount promotion. If this period has expired, the action may also not be extended, for example, “because of the great success”.

A violation of this may lead to warnings from competitors, who could rely on established case law. Indeed, the BGH ruled several years ago that the announcement of a special event can be misleading if a special sale announced for a limited period of time continues beyond the stated time.

It is true that competitors would have to prove that the supplier intended to extend the discount promotion from the outset. For courts, however, the decisive factor is the view of the “relevant public”. The BGH stated at the time that consumers would not assume that an entrepreneur would extend a limited discount campaign from the outset if it was very successful. From a business point of view, the opposite may make sense.

Simply extending the service is therefore no more a smart idea than lowering prices across the board in the future. The BGH also considers this to be misleading. The BGH case law has also been confirmed by the Higher Regional Courts in recent years. The only exception would probably be if there were concrete circumstances that would speak for the unpredictability of an extension. However, according to case law, it is also not sufficient if, for example, competitors also launch discount campaigns as a reaction, which then run longer than the company’s own campaign.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.

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