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Price information of the tour operator Unitravel misleading consumers

The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) established in its decision on 3 May 2007, that Unitravel Utazásszervező Kft. (Unitravel Tour Operator Ltd.) informed consumers in a deceptive way about the price of three of the tours it organised in 2006 since the information given by it about the participation fees and the costs to be paid, in addition to the participation fee was misleading. The undertaking also infringed the law, when it stated in its programme-leaflets, that it offered the lowest prices on the market. Unitravel Utazásszervező was fined HUF 1 million because its behaviour infringed the Competition Act.

Consumers choosing a tour operator or rather a service from those offered by tour operators consider further costs burdening them in addition to participations fees, and in particular admission cards and tickets to be paid for separately to be important elements for their decision. According to the information published in the programme-leaflet of Unitravel Utazásszervező, which popularized cultural round tours, seightseeing tours, motorcar race-meetings and exotic expeditions in 2006, the equivalents of the traveling to and visiting of the indicated places were the participation fees and the prices of the additional entrance tickets. Having considered a programme-leaflet consumer may have concluded, that the price of the programmes described in the programme-leaflet consisted of the participation fee (i.e. of the "basic price") plus of the prices of the entrance tickets mentioned by the leaflet. During the examination it was established, that consumers did not get appropriate information about the entrance fees and ticket prices to be paid in additiontothe participation fees, so they had to bear higher costs as those indicated in the programme-leaflets.

The programme-leaflet of Unitravel Utazásszervező, which popularized cultural round tours, sightseeing tours, motorcar race-meetings and exotic expeditions Mediterranean holidays in 2006, there were made several statements which alleged, that this undertaken offered the most favourable (the lowest) prices on the market. These statements were valid it was said in relation of all of Unitravel Utazásszervező-s competitors, therefore Unitravel Utazásszervező should have had to prove in each of those relations, that its statements were truthful. The undertaking failed to do this. Unitravel Utazásszervező would not even be able continuously to monitor and analyse the supply of each of its competitors in order to create a foundation of such statements.

The GVH established, that the behaviour of the undertaking was suitable for deceiving consumers by its "priority"-statements which it made in its programme-leaflets.

Besides the establishment of the infringement, Unitravel Utazásszervező was fined HUF 1 million.

Case Number: Vj-176/2006.

Budapest, 4 May 2007

Hungarian Competition Authority
Communication Group

Further information:
András Mihálovits
Hungarian Competition Authority
Address: 1054 Budapest, V. ker., Alkotmány u.5.
Mailing address: 1245 Budapest 5. POB 1036
Tel.: +36-30 618-6618