HALT! DAS IST VERBOTEN is basically the conclusion of German court over the use of Amazon's Dash buttons, which the have been found to break Germany's consumer protection legislation.
The ruling, reported Reuters, comes after a regional consumer protection watchdog levied a case against Amazon, which claimed that the Dash buttons breach consumer protection law as they don't let shoppers know what price they are paying for things at the point of the transaction.
For those who don't know, Dash buttons are small oblong gadgets with a button on them that people can press to easily order specific products from Amazon without going into the everything seller's online store or app. Buttons can be branded and configured to quickly order all sorts of stuff from whiskey to washing powder.
Once pushed the order for the thing the button is set up for is fired off to Amazon, though users have some leeway to cancel the order.
But the Dash buttons haven't won the favour of German watchdogs or indeed courts, despite the nation being Amazon's second-biggest market.
Effectively outlawing Dash buttons has unsurprisingly not impressed Amazon.
"Today's ruling is not only hostile to innovation. It also stops customers from making an informed decision about whether a service like the Dash button gives them a convenient shopping experience," said an Amazon spokesman in a statement to Reuters.
But the Germanic consumer watchdog behind the court case didn't agree with Amazon's conclusion.
"We are always open to innovation. But if innovation means that the consumer is put at a disadvantage and price comparisons are made difficult then we fight that," Wolfgang Schuldzinski, head of the consumer body, told Reuters.
Amazon said it would work to overturn the ruling through other legal channels, though the consumer watchdog noted that the court would not grant Amazon an appeal.
Given the Dash buttons don't allow people to order stupidly expensive stuff, one might argue that the German watchdog was overreacting, but then again rules are rules and even giant companies like Amazon need to play ball. µ
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