Last month, the European Parliament approved the New Deal for Consumers which proposes to extend consumer rights to digital content and impose more significant sanctions for breaches of consumer law generally. Sanctions include that Member States will be able to fine businesses up to 4% of their annual turnover in the Member State(s) concerned, or, if turnover information is not available, up to at least €2 million.

Once the New Deal for Consumers has been formally approved, Member States will have 2 years to implement the requirements into national law. Whilst the UK’s future post-Brexit is unclear, it is likely that UK consumer businesses will still have to consider the increased consumer protections if they conduct business with consumers based in EU countries. It is also possible that the UK government will decide to implement the additional protections into UK law itself. 

This development follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) proposals to increase consumer protection in the UK by placing a new statutory duty on the CMA and the courts to treat the interests of consumers as paramount.