23 February 2023, Budapest - The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) accepted the voluntary commitment of Samsung to provide consumers with more detailed information on the operation of the advertising surface built into the menu system of its smart TVs. The decision of the GVH also provides guidance for other market actors.
Following several complaints, the national competition authority opened an investigation at the end of 2021 to investigate whether the domestic distributor of Samsung televisions (also the operator of the IT platform for the devices) had properly informed consumers that the user interface of the smart TVs it sells displays advertising that cannot be disabled or hidden.
The undertaking cooperated with the authority throughout the investigation: it voluntarily suspended its advertising appearing on the TV menu in Hungary until the investigation was concluded and began to provide information on certain channels regarding the advertising on the smart platform. Looking to the future, the undertaking offered a complex series of commitments to streamline its information practices. Based on the commitments, Samsung's website will draw people's attention to ads on the user interface of smart TVs in a clear and noticeable manner and will also offer the possibility to disable the (interest-based) personalisation of ads. In addition, the undertaking is raising consumer awareness of smart TV menu ads directly and through its partner network.
The GVH’s Competition Council considered that the commitments offered by the undertaking, which were also binding on the market, were suitable to correct the contested practice and thus adequately safeguard the protection of public interest. Accordingly, the national competition authority terminated the proceedings (without establishing an infringement or lack thereof) and obliged Samsung Electronics Magyar Zrt. to comply with the commitments entered into.
The correct, accurate and documented implementation of commitments may be subject to a follow-up investigation by the GVH after the expiry of their deadline.
Official registration number of the case: VJ/46/2021.
GVH Public Service and International Section
Bálint Horváth, Head of Communication +36 20 238 6939
Katalin Gondolovics, Spokesperson +36 30 603 1170