The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has launched a competition supervision proceeding in relation to a number of advertisements promoting the services of Ask Bongo, a premium SMS service primarily aimed at children and minors, which might have breached the prohibition on unfair commercial practices against consumers.
Due to a number of signals from the market the GVH became aware of the fact that the web series called ‘Középsuli’ (‘Secondary school’) contained content about the premium rate SMS services of Bongo. This content was likely to have appeared in return for payment, a fact which was not clearly indicated to consumers. It is presumed that the viewers of the programme were not provided with appropriate information about the essential characteristics of the advertised service, namely the costs associated with its use and the data sources used for providing answers. Furthermore, it is also likely that the web series played on YouTube included direct exhortations to children to use the premium rate messaging services.
The GVH assumes that the undertakings concerned have also widely promoted this service via other means of communication. Consequently, the competition supervision proceeding will be extended to the examination of all commercial practices of this kind.
The initiation of the competition supervision proceeding does not presume any breach of competition rules by the undertakings subject to the proceeding (Global AQA Pty Ltd., Globoport Média Holding Kft. and Glenwood Media Kft.). The proceeding has been initiated in order to clarify the facts of the case and to prove the alleged infringement. The administrative time limit for the completion of the proceeding is three months, which may be extended on two occasions, where justified, by a maximum of two months each time.
The official registration number of the case: Vj/3/2020.
Budapest, 10 February 2020
Hungarian Competition Authority
Phone: (+36-30) 180-2060