Discussion Papers

No. 424: Effectiveness of sector-specific consumer protection regimes in Germany

(full version only available in German)

Authors: Stefano Lucidi, Bernd Sörries, Sonja Thiele


Sector-specific consumer protection is becoming increasingly important. Today, it is impossible to imagine the political agenda without consumer protection. Infringements of consumer rights are to be counteracted more intensively by official interventions.

This study deals with the sector-specific consumer protection of telecommunications and postal services in Germany. The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of consumer protection in the relevant end-customer markets.

In addition to investigating consumer protection standards in practice, the study focuses on how to improve the effectiveness of sector-specific regulations. The analysis focuses on public and private consumer protection actors in. Accordingly, approaches and considerations from the network theory are applied. In addition to the competencies and activities, interactions between actors are examined. This methodological approach takes account of the fact that the effectiveness of the relevant legal provisions does not depend solely on how public authorities or private actors use the competences or legal instruments at their disposal. Rather, the effectiveness of consumer protection is a dependent variable resulting from the interaction of different factors.

On the basis of the findings, which are also based on expert interviews, administrative and legal recommendations for action are proposed to improve the effectiveness of cooperation between actors in the interests of consumers.

Discussion Paper is available for download.


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