Germany: Merchants who sell goods via Amazon must regularly check whether the images displayed correspond to the products.
Amazon’s programme algorithm automatically assigns images of a product category to corresponding product offers. This can result in images being assigned to a product that do not display the product completely accurately.
In the specific dispute, an offer for printer cartridges that were sold without original packaging was automatically provided by the algorithm with images of the same printer cartridges, but with original packaging.
The plaintiff, who sold the printer cartridges with packaging, had already obtained an injunction against the competing company. The dispute then arose again over the question of whether a fine was to be paid on the basis of the injunction in the case of continued misleading depiction.
The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court confirmed this. According to the court, Amazon merchants have a duty to regularly check the presentation of their own offers to see whether the images assigned by the algorithm really do represent their own product correctly. If this is not the case, Amazon merchants must take action, as the representation is then misleading and thus anti-competitive.
The decision shows how extensive the obligations of Amazon merchants are and that violations of these obligations can have expensive consequences for merchants.
Source: OLG Frankfurt, decision of 18.03.2021 – 6 W 8/18