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GCCA participates in project organized by ICPEN

The Competition and Consumer Protection Agency of Georgia (GCCA) has been a key participant in a project organized by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).

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Georgia: The Competition and Consumer Protection Agency of Georgia (GCCA) has been a key participant in a project organized by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).

This project, which aimed to inspect companies operating in the e-commerce sector, demonstrates the GCCA’s unwavering commitment to consumer protection.

A study involving consumer protection agencies in 26 countries found that most merchant websites and mobile apps used misleading Dark Patterns when providing subscription services. These Dark Patterns, fixed on Internet platforms, are designed to influence user choices through various manipulations, which may not be in their best interests. This underscores the urgent need for action to protect consumers.

Within the project, the Georgian Competition and Consumer Protection Agency (GCCA) verified 6 merchants, 87% of whom used at least one misleading term/template. These could include phrases like ‘limited time offer’ when the offer is not actually limited, or ‘only 3 left in stock’ to create a sense of urgency.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Agency of Georgia (GCCA) also found that companies often use a form (photo, graphics, colors) when posting information on the e-commerce page, which is aimed at interface interference and making purchases.

The survey conducted by ICPEN covers the period from January 29 to February 2, 2024, and inspected a total of 642 merchant websites and mobile apps by 26 agencies. The study used six indicators of unfair commercial conditions/templates established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the results received, 75.7% of companies use at least one error condition/pattern (Dark pattern), and 66.8% – two or more. According to the information developed within the project, the increasing spread of Dark patterns in the online sector has been confirmed.

Accordingly, the Competition and Consumer Protection Agency of Georgia (GCCA) will consider the findings and trends of the mentioned conclusion in the implementation process.

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