21 June 2022, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has started an investigation against the operator of Elittárs dating service for possibly misleading its customers regarding the essential features of the service. This is because, among other things, the undertaking hides the fact that registered users cannot search for a partner on the site for free.
The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has started an investigation against Spark Networks Services GmbH, the operator of Elittárs dating service, because the undertaking presumably fails to provide consumers with adequate information on some of the essential features of the service and could therefore unfairly influence their choice. The undertaking does not make it clear, either before or during registration, that free users will not be able to view other people's profile pictures and send or read messages, as these features are only available to subscribers - meaning that real matchmaking is impossible without paying - despite registration.
Furthermore, the undertaking does not inform users, even after they have purchased a subscription package, which members of the database have a subscription and which members have registered for free. This way, even paying members do not know who they can contact for dating purposes.
This is not the first time that the GVH has investigated the practices of the online dating market in Hungary: two years ago, it imposed a significant fine on an undertaking based in Luxembourg operating be2 and Academic Singles online dating services, for - among other things - advertising the websites as free to use, when in fact there was no free access to the essence of the services.
The initiation of the competition supervision proceeding does not mean that the undertaking has committed the infringement. The proceeding aims to clarify the facts and thereby prove the alleged infringement. The time limit for the completion of the proceeding is three months, which may be extended twice, in duly justified cases, for a maximum of two months each time.
Official registration number of the case: VJ/16/2022.
Press Office of the GVH