EU Court: sales of computer pre-installed software is not unfair




The European Court of Justice has decided that selling a computer with pre-installed software is not unfair or misleading. This ruled the court after a case was filed in 2008 against Sony.

The European court writes , besides the fact that such a practice is not unfair to the consumer, that selling such computers are not in conflict with the ‘requirements of professional care’ to observe sellers. In addition, the court takes note that the sale of a computer including software meets the expectations of most consumers. However, it is up to the various national courts to assess each case individually.

This suggests that the Court reply to the question from a French court, which sooner or selling a computer with all existing software is unfair, as there is no possibility for the consumer to buy the same model without the software. The assessment may also be included if the consumer was informed in advance about the presence of the software, according to the Court. This is necessary so that consumers can make an informed decision.

A second question would the French court asks whether offering a computer with pre-installed software is misleading, in case that is not mentioned the price of each available program. On that Court says this is misleading because the individual prices of the software is not ‘essential information’ is when buying a computer. Therefore, the consumer does not miss the opportunity to make an informed decision.

The underlying case, in which the French court asked the questions, was filed in 2008 by Vincent Deroo-Blanquart. He had bought a Sony system with Windows Vista Home Premium. The Frenchman, however, did not accept the terms of use of the operating system and wanted the value of the pre-installed operating system to reclaim from Sony. The Japanese company refused and offered him to make the transaction completely undone. Then the man filed suit against Sony, which the present judgment has come.


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