New German e-commerce law affects game companies

Video Game Law Blog

March 10, 2012

A new e-commerce law has been enacted in Germany, which will have a major impact on all e-commerce companies doing end-consumer business in Germany. It is especially relevant for all online gaming companies.

The new law is nicknamed the "button-solution". It obligates all providers of e-commerce services to label the last button of an order process clearly with the words "zahlungspflichtig bestellen" ("order requiring payment") or something similar. The wording "Bestellung absenden" ("send order") which currently is widely used will no longer be sufficient. In addition, the consumer has to be clearly informed about the costs of products, delivery costs and the minimum term right before the purchase.

All agreements with consumers violating this rule will be void. A breach of this obligation can lead to warning letters by competitors and consumer protection bodies.

The new rule applies only for transactions concluded under German law. It is not possible to avoid this obligation by agreeing to a different legal system in the Terms and Services of the contract if the consumer is German and the business is targeted at the German market.

This was a guest posting from Dr. Andreas Lober at