The Italian Competition Authority Fines Perform For Misleading Advertising On DAZN Service And On The Soccer 2018/19 Package

Author:Mr Ernesto Apa (Portolano Cavallo) and Enzo Marasà (Portolano Cavallo)
Profession:Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)

On March 25th, 2018 the Italian Competition Authority imposed a fine amounting to Euro 500,000.00 on Perform Investment LTD and Perform Media Services SRL in relation to the DAZN service, consisting of the live streaming of sports events (most notably, soccer games of the A League - "Serie A" - and B League - "Serie B" -). The service is operated in Italy since the beginning of the 2018/19 championship, i.e. August 2018. In the view of the Italian Competition Authority, both companies carried out unfair commercial practices in violation of Article 21 of the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree no. 206 of September 6th, 2005) for misleading advertising and information to consumers.

The Italian Competition Authority has taken into account two different conducts.

On one hand, the companies have been charged with using advertising messages which did not include any reference to the possible technical limitations that the DAZN live streaming service was subject to. In particular, said messages emphasized the quality of the service (including by featuring slogan implying the possibility of using the service "when you want, where you want") without specifying that the latter could be affected by a variety of technical factors. This way, the companies had failed to inform consumers about the difficulties that they might encounter while accessing the service (including the possibility that the service was not working) from the very beginning...

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