Fines by the GVH once more for mobile phone ads

On 17 March 2005 the Competition Council of the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal came in two proceedings to the conclusion that Pannon GSM Távközlési Rt. had infringed the provisions of the Competition Act. The Competition Council in the competition supervision proceeding started in connection with Pannon 50-1000 package of fees imposed a HUF 30 million fine, while the mobile phone service provider was fined HUF 5 million for its DJUICE Nonstop advertisements.

Pannon GSM Távközlési Rt. informed consumers that Pannon 50-1000 were the only package of fees where minutes costs were not growing once the inclusive minutes have been used up, whilst in reality its competitors offered packages of fees of similar construction where minutes costs also were not growing. In some advertisements regarding Pannon 1000 the undertaking used the term "minutes cost" and terms of the same content in a way that was likely to deceive consumers. Furthermore, as the Competition Council established, an infringement was also committed by the advertisements of "Fee reduction" service where the undertaking gave untrue information to consumers on the content of the service. The statement that "the more you speak the less you pay for a minute" was not true in all cases, and the communication that the undertaking calculates the monthly costs charging the consumer on the basis of several (not only two) packages of fees and invoices the more favourable, was not correct, too.

Within the frame of another proceeding the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal examined the advertising activity related to the DJUICE Nonstop service. The Competition Council found that the undertaking displayed a behaviour that was likely to deceive consumers when in its advertisements in October and November of 2004 it gave the false impression that DJUICE Nonstop service can be freely used. The ads stated that using the service text message sending was free, but consumers actually had to pay a monthly fee for that.

Budapest, 17 March 2005

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