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24.02.2015

OLG Oldenburg: Invalidity of choice of law clauses in general terms and conditions

The general terms and conditions of many online traders include so-called ‘choice of law’ clauses declaring that the contractual relationships with customers are subject to the corresponding local laws – in the case of German platforms typically German law.

The general terms and conditions of many online traders include so-called ‘choice of law’ clauses declaring that the contractual relationships with customers are subject to the corresponding local laws – in the case of German platforms typically German law. According to a decision by the Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg (Oberlandesgericht Oldenburg, OLG Oldenburg) (decision as of 23.09.2014, 6 U 113/14) these clauses are invalid in the event that customers located abroad are also able to make purchases from German online shops and may be subject to cease and desist letters. The judges state that these clauses infringe Art. 6 Para. 2 Clause 2 of the Rome I Regulation.

Practical tip: Anyone wishing to continue using choice of law clauses should indicate that, regardless of the specific choice of law, consumers who are customarily resident abroad always have the right to rely on the laws of their country of residence.

Authors

Elisabeth Noltenius

Elisabeth Noltenius

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