Budapest, 14 September 2022 - The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has ordered the temporary closure of two Slovakian-owned webstores that advertise Elf Bar products and e-cigarettes to Hungarian consumers. The measure aims to protect Hungarian consumers until detailed investigation by the Authority is completed.

         The Hungarian Competition Authority started an investigation in the summer into two Slovakian undertakings as both are likely to be unfairly advertising e-cigarettes and Elf Bar flavours that are popular among children and therefore particularly harmful to Hungarian consumers. Having considered the circumstances of the case, the GVH decided to take interim measures and to shut down the (Hungarian language) online stores of the two companies. The measure aims to protect domestic consumers from the assumed unlawful commercial practice of the undertakings and to prevent more serious harm during the investigation period.

         As a result of the measure, one of the stores concerned is no longer available. The other, however, is still operating, and therefore the GVH has ordered enforcement against this company (Bensons Europe s.r.o.) for failing to comply with the above decision. At the same time, the GVH imposed a fine on the company and its managing director, which will continue to increase daily until fulfilment of the interim measure. The Hungarian Competition Authority is aiming to ensure that the products banned in Hungary cannot be sold to domestic consumers until the competition proceedings against the Slovakian companies are completed. The investigation and evaluation of the circumstances of the assumed infringements by the two Slovakian companies is currently in progress.

Case registration numbers: VJ/22/2022, VJ/23/2022

GVH Press Office

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