Kammergericht Berlin Dismisses Netflix and Spotify Appeals on Price Adjustment Clauses

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Kammergericht Berlin Dismisses Netflix and Spotify Appeals on Price Adjustment Clauses

The Consumer Federation Bureau (vzbv) highlighted the Kammergericht Berlin’s rejection of appeals by Netflix and Spotify regarding clauses related to price adjustments. The organization considers this a significant win for subscribers of both providers, asserting it bolsters consumer rights.

The Kammergericht made its decision on November 15, 2023, and the vzbv disclosed the verdict through a recent announcement (Case numbers: 23U 15/22 and 23 U 112/22).

Both Spotify and Netflix had previously raised subscription prices without explicit consent from customers. However, during Spotify’s price hike in October 2023, the provider altered its approach, requiring active consent from subscribers for the new subscription rates.

Previous court rulings had deemed the price adjustment clauses of Spotify and Netflix inadmissible.

Consumer advocates perceive a significant impact

Jana Brockfeld, a legal enforcement team member at vzbv, remarked, “This verdict could essentially put an end to unilateral price hikes by streaming services in Germany.” She highlighted the Kammergericht Berlin’s groundbreaking decision in favor of consumers.

“The court’s view is that the two accused providers, Netflix and Spotify, cannot unilaterally adjust their prices; customers must actively consent,” she added. The Kammergericht stated that both Netflix and Spotify could easily obtain such consent for a price increase without much difficulty.

Netflix and the legally compliant labeling of the order button

Netflix faced fresh legal trouble in the summer of 2023 when the vzbv cautioned the streaming service for improperly labeling an order button when booking a Netflix sub-account. Consequently, the order button did not meet necessary legal requirements.

In 2020, Netflix engaged in a legal battle over the labeling of the regular order button—and lost. According to consumer advocates, Netflix had unlawfully labeled the subscription order, a view upheld by the relevant court.

READ MORE: Spotify and Deezer Grapple with Billing Glitches, Subscriptions Disrupted, Users Unhappy

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Michael Lynch
With a passion for cybersecurity, Michael Lynch covers data protection and online privacy, providing expert guidance and updates on digital security matters.