The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) fined Magyar Telekom Nyrt. for an infringement of comparative advertising rules, and for misleading customers.
The supervision proceedings were opened in relation to a campaign including the slogan “largest size 4G network”, and GVH established that Telekom provided a comparative analysis of the 4G network coverage of Telekom and its competitors, by infringing the rules of comparative advertising, given that according to GVH, the fact that in any given moment the network coverage of a specific mobile operator is the largest, shall not be deemed to be an impartial comparison – even if such information is true and correct when provided – if, by taking into consideration the specific nature of 4G mobile services, it can be clearly established that this situation is not sustainable, due to a fast space network roll out.
The other subject covered by the supervision proceedings was the statement made by Telekom in the same campaign, using the term “up to 150 Mbit/sec speed” and “up to 150 Mbit maximum speed” in relation to network download via specific communication devices, in relation to which VGH established that the implied meaning of such term, in the context of available download speed, is suitable to mislead the customers. During the investigative proceedings GVH established that advertising promises including the term “up to” would be lawful – amongst others – if the term “up to” would not only represent a theoretical possibility, but a realistically available option, however, in this specific case under investigation, the 150 Mbit/sec was not supposed to mean an available option for customers.
The authority evaluated the fact that the infringement was related to goods (4G services) yet unknown to the large population, and that given the 1-2 year loyalty schemes offered to customers, the infringement might have long terms effects, as major aggravating circumstances.
According to Telekom, the statement made is verifiable and objective, therefore, Telekom stated that it intends to request a judicial review of the resolution.