Admonishing a Foreign Company for Wrong Imprint

The LG Frankfurt / Main (re 3-12 O 151/02) had to decide on the question whether a company not based in Germany can be admonished for an incomplete imprint on its homepage and whether German law on data protection was applicable.

Having a correct imprint is something not really so difficult – actually. A company based in Frankfurt / Main admonished a competing company located in Cardiff, Wales (UK) because this company provided no information on its VAT-ID and commercial registry number. This Welsh company was offering comparable products as like the plaintiff on the German market. The Welsh company defended itself but in vain.

The judges decided that the Welsh company was correctly admonished because it violated the German Remote Services Act (Telemediengesetz). It is correct that the Welsh company has no German VAT-ID and German commercial registry number. Not having German company ID is nothing to complain about. However, §6 no. 4 TDG is to be understood that comparable information from foreign registries are to be provided. The spirit and purpose of the Remote Services Act is transparency and based thereupon consumer protection. Such goals can only then be effectively pursued if foreign companies disclose their identification on their websites in so far as they render services or trade products in Germany.

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