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Internal Market: Norway must change ban on lotteries linked to consumer purchases


PR(13)02 - English version

The Norwegian ban on organizing lotteries or price competitions in connection to purchase of goods or services is in breach of EEA law on consumer protection. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion delivered by the EFTA Surveillance Authority to Norway today.

The Norwegian Marketing Control Act (Markedsføringsloven) provides for a general prohibition for traders to make the participation of consumers in a lottery or prize competition conditional on the purchase of goods or the use of services.

However, according to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, commercial practices may in principle only be prohibited on the basis of a case-by-case assessment of their unfair character. The Directive is a total harmonisation Directive, meaning that EEA States may not adopt stricter rules than provided by the Directive. A general prohibition, as foreseen by the Norwegian act, is not allowed.

A reasoned opinion is the second step in the infringement procedure. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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