The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, GVH) established that Vodafone had committed an unfair commercial practice against consumers when it falsely claimed with its slogans ‘Europe’s largest 4G partner network’ and ‘Europe's largest 4G network’ to hold the position of market leader. As a result of this infringement, the GVH imposed a fine of EUR 3.5 M on the undertaking.
Vodafone Hungary Ltd. promoted its service between September 2015 and August 2016 with slogans ‘Join Europe's largest 4G partner network!’ and ‘Join Europe's largest 4G network!’. During the GVH’s proceeding, the service provider was unable to prove that its network services had a larger coverage in Europe than its competitors. Consequently, the GVH determined that the advertisements in question had made false claims in relation to an essential feature of the services provided by the concerned undertaking, namely that it held the market leading position in terms of its network coverage. It was therefore established that the claims were in breach of unfair commercial practices against customers.
The GVH imposed a fine of EUR 3.5 M on Vodafone given that the undertaking had engaged in unfair commercial practices against consumers 12 times in the last 10 years, with several of these infringements involving false claims relating to its market leading position.
However, the GVH took into account, as a mitigating factor reducing the amount of the fine, the fact that the undertaking had voluntarily agreed to improve its compliance programme with competition law.
The official registration number of the case: VJ/76/2016.
Budapest, 14 December 2019
Hungarian Competition Authority
Telephone: (+36-30) 180-2060