Italy: Sale of counterfeit Armani products is misleading


The website selling counterfeit Armani products has been ordered to suspend any activity directed to Italian consumers by the Italian competition authority as its practice has been deemed to be misleading for consumers.

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) that has jurisdiction also on misleading advertising and unfair commercial practices deemed that the sale of counterfeit Armani products through the website was in breach of unfair commercial practices regulations because the manager of the website:

  1. was providing misleading information about the products sold as they were counterfeit giving the impression to be an official seller of Armani products that was not the case; and
  2. omitted to provide its contact details to consumers as well as to inform them of their 2 years statutory warranty.

Indeed, since the products sold were counterfeit it was not possible to provide consumers with any of the rights granted by the 2 years statutory warranty as such products could not be compliant with the description of the products given on the site (i.e. that the products were original).

Because of the above, the manager of the site was ordered to stop performing its activity to the benefit of Italians within 2 days and the AGCM also held that in case of lack of compliance with such order:
the access to the site would be prevented by means of filters implemented by Internet service providers and
the manager of the site might face a fine up to € 5,000,000 and an order of suspension of its business activity for up to 30 days.

This is a very interesting development of misleading advertising and unfair commercial practices regulations and I would be curious to see whether also in other European countries local authorities extended the scope of such regulations to this practice.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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