|Opis:||Pyramid schemes and multilevel marketing are still a controversial topic of discussion, which can be seen by the number of cases emerging in European countries in the last decade. Despite the fact that pyramid schemes are listed in the annex of Unfair Commercial Practices Directive as practices which are in all circumstances considered unfair, the definition itself rises some questions and makes certain multilevel marketing schemes subjects of debate whether they appear as a legitimate multilevel marketing or forbidden pyramid schemes. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on the interpretation of the pyramid schemes in two important cases, 4finance and Lucky 4 All, where it clarified the conditions that need to be fulfilled for a practice to be identified as a pyramid scheme, however, the question remains whether the participants of the pyramid schemes, who actively sell items, can still be considered consumers and therefore enjoy benefits the consumer protection gives them. At the moment, standpoint of the legal doctrine is that the moment of enrolment is decisive on whether someone can be seen as consumer or not.
Even if the conditions set by the CJEU are not met, that does not necessarily mean a practice is not unfair. In addition to black listed practices, Unfair Commercial Practices Directive has more provisions, both the general clause and provisions regarding misleading and aggressive commercial practices, under which a practice can be considered unfair.
The question arises what are the legal consequences of a contract concluded under the influence of an unfair commercial practice and whether it is valid. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive's scope is limited as it is without prejudice to contract law and, in particular, to the rules on the validity, formation or effect of a contract, but this does not mean consumers do not have access to the effective remedies including compensation for the damage suffered under the rules of civil law. Despite that, the European Union adopted Directive 2019/2161 amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directives 98/6/EC, 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer protection rules, which amends also the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, adding the provisions regarding the individual redress to the scope of the directive.|