In the framework of its sector inquiry regarding e-commerce the Romanian NCA carried out an analysis on whether retailers comply with the legal provisions regarding price reduction campaigns.
According to the applicable legislation, any retailer who intends to market a discount must market it together with a "reference price", which is defined to be the lowest price offered in the same retail space in the last 30 days. The NCA found that the price to which the reduction was applied and displayed by online retailers, i.e. the initial price of the product before discount, was higher than the "reference price" as defined by statutory legislation in approximately 80% of the monitored products, making the discounts 'misleading' discounts. When carrying out the assessment, the NCA specifically looked at the Black Friday prices in 2017.
The NCA found that failure to comply with the legislative provisions on price reduction campaigns distorts the "mechanisms of price competition as regards discounts", as consumers are misled. The NCA proposed to amend the legal framework and require online retailers to display information on the evolution of the reference price.