New legal developments in Austria and Germany

Two recent decisions by the highest civil courts of Austria and Germany underline positive legal trend towards more consumer-friendly B2C-communications.

The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice has recently decided it is unlawful for telecommunications service providers to automatically switch from paper to electronic billing, even if the consumer had the chance to object prior to the switch. Such a switch violates the consumer’s freedom of choice between paper and e-billing contained in Art. 100 I of the Austrian Telecommunications Act. On a similar note, the German Federal Court of Justice upheld a previous decision taken by the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt declaring it unlawful for mobile phone providers to charge consumers extra for paper bills. According to the Court, provisions in standard business terms containing such an additional fee violate Art. 307 of the German Civil Code and are therefore invalid. KeepMePosted EU welcomes these new legal developments which show a trend towards more consumer-friendliness by giving the consumer the right to choose in the field of business to consumer communications. Related links: