On October 24, 2017, the to ensure that the consumers can count on their reliability, objectivity and transparency.
The inquiry will focus on comparison websites active in the area of travel, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and energy. The authority is going to send questionnaires to a large number of website operators on topics such as rankings, financing, corporate links, reviews, availability or relevant market coverage in order to uncover and specify possible violations of consumer law provisions.
The antitrust authority has clarified that it is not investigating specific companies but taking an overall view of this economic sector in order to identify prohibited conduct in an evaluation of all the facts available. In fact, the inquiry is based on the newly gained investigative powers of the Bundeskartellamt in the area of consumer protection under Section 32e(5) of the German Competition Act and, similar to sector inquiries in the area of the protection of competition, it is not targeted against specific companies.
By the end of this year, the Bundeskartellamt will also decide whether to launch another sector inquiry in the area of consumer problems in everyday digital life.