Written by solicitor Thomas Meier-Bading 2023-09-22 at 10:12

The cease-and-desist-letter


In Germany, competition law warnings are crucial for addressing fair competition violations. They involve a formal cease-and-desist letter, demanding corrective action within a specified timeframe. Businesses must understand and navigate these intricacies to prevent and promptly address such warnings that ca be very costly.
Ø Reading time: 2 min.

the German way of compling to the law: the competition law warning

This legal instrument is commonly employed to address alleged violations of fair competition regulations and is an integral part of the German legal system. These warnings are often issued by competitors, industry associations or consumer protection organizations. The purpose of a competition law warning is to notify a business engaging in unfair competition practices about the perceived infringement and to demand corrective action. Such „unfair competition practice” can be anything that does not comply to the law, for instance (list by far not exhaustive):

  • a missing or wrong revocation form
  • an invalid rule in General Terms
  • no buy-button on an website.

Typically, a competition law warning involves sending a formal cease-and-desist letter, outlining the specific alleged violations and providing a deadline for the recipient to rectify the situation. If the recipient fails to comply within the stipulated timeframe, legal proceedings may follow, resulting in injunctions or financial penalties.

the industry behind it

picture: ai, prompt: Thomas Meier-Bading

As the receiver has to pay the competitor’s lawyer-fees of some thousand Euros, complete industries have developed already. For that reason, any action not complying to the law will sooner or later become very expensive.

The German legal system places a significant emphasis on fair competition, and competition law warnings play a crucial role in maintaining a level playing field in the business environment. While these warnings serve as a means to resolve disputes amicably, businesses must be vigilant in responding promptly and appropriately to avoid legal consequences.


Understanding, navigating the intricacies and above all preventing competition law warnings is essential for businesses operating within the German market.

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