Do national regulators enforce rules against entities operating abroad?
The German Agency to combat Unfair Competition (Wettbewerbszentrale) has capacity to bring civil proceedings if the prize promotion is governed by the UWG:
- The UWG always applies if the prize promotion targets the German market place. That means, German Law is applicable, even if the promoter is based in another country. It is not applicable if the promoter addresses only foreign consumers.
- In cases of online prize promotions it might be relevant if the prize promotion has worldwide scope, or is limited to particular market places, eg by using disclaimers on the website or a specific language (not sufficient in case of English language).
- Moreover, as a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC), the Wettbewerbszentrale cooperates with foreign authorities in cross-border complaints.
Telemedia and broadcasting rules are enforced on the basis of the country-of-origin principle, meaning German regulations will not be enforced if the country-of-origin of the respective medium is not Germany.