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Beware of your standard terms

25 Aug 2016

The case of Verein für Konsumenteninformation v Amazon EU Sàrl looked at one of Amazon’s standard clauses, which required that the contract was governed by the law of the supplier’s country. Amazon, which is established in Luxembourg, used the clause to allow it to make use of customer data, which is allowed under Luxembourg law. The claimant, a consumer protection body, applied to the Austrian court for an injunction prohibiting the clause.

The court held that the clause was unfair as it gives the customer the impression that only the law of the supplier’s country applies, without informing the customer that they also enjoy the protection of the mandatory provisions of the law of the customer’s country.

Companies will now need to consider whether the choice of law in their standard terms is unfair and therefore invalid.

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