Private sales will have to explain. The General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) announced Thursday to have sent to the prosecutor the conclusions of its investigations concerning ads deemed misleading in terms of price reductions of the site.

The event sales specialist is accused of having tried to give his customers the illusion of getting a good deal, by setting up fraudulent strategies to build a fictitious reference price, the DGCCRF said in a statement. Reference prices – from which the reduction rate is calculated – did not correspond to any economic reality and were used to display particularly attractive promotion rates, she adds. *

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Millions of euros in fines in 2017

"It is now up to the judicial authority to give the follow-up that it deems necessary to the alleged deficiencies," says the institution. The investigation of the DGCCRF was based on findings on the website of Private Sales and the analysis of documents seized during searches carried out in June 2016 on its premises.

Internet sales, especially in the form of "event" sales, are the subject of particular attention by the fraud department. "Unfair practices of deceptive price reductions (…) skew consumer choices and disrupt the smooth functioning of markets by inducing unfair competition," she says.

The DGCCRF has already announced, in February 2017, having opened litigation procedures against 19 e-commerce brands. These gave rise to the payment of several million euros in fines in connection with criminal transactions.

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Private sell

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