EU DIRECTIVE REQUIRES THAT INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS DISCLOSE CONTACT INFORMATION BEFORE FINALIZING E-CONTRACTS

On October 16, 2008, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Directive on Electronic Commerce 2000/31/EC requires online service providers to supply customers with a rapid, direct and effective means of contacting the service provider, in addition to listing the service provider’s e-mail address (Case C-298/07). Such means of communication do not need to be in the form of a physical telephone number.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Is the provision of a non-electronic means of communication required as a prerequisite for the provision of online services?
Is it sufficient that the information is provided on request?
Is providing online contact only compatible with the intent of the Directive?

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