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Aldi gets just desserts in pudding war

German discount supermarket chain Aldi scored a victory against food manufacturer Dr Oetker Tuesday in what has being dubbed as a "pudding war".

Aldi gets just desserts in pudding war
Photo: DPA

In a battle over the patent and marketing rights of a chocolate and cream dessert, a German court ruled that Aldi’s “Flecki” pudding did not infringe on the copyright of Dr Oetker’s similar product, “Paula”.

Neither the ingredients nor the packaging, which features black and white cow spots, of the discount store’s product could be mistaken for those of the Dr Oetker pudding, the Düsseldorf appeals court said, upholding a ruling from March.

Dr Oetker, a family-run firm which specialises in packaged meals such as frozen pizzas, cake mixes, yoghurts and puddings, had sought a Europe-wide ban on “Flecki”.

A company spokesman said Dr Oetker would examine the ruling and decide whether to take the case any further.

AFP/jcw

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BUSINESS

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its Amazon.fr website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.

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