A Munich regional court has ruled that Amazon’s Dash buttons violate consumer protection legislation and are thus illegal under German law, reports Reuters. Amazon’s Dash buttons are small wireless hardware with a single button on it, which, when tapped by an Amazon Prime member, will automatically place an order for the product and bill it to the user’s Amazon account.
However, Dash buttons only show the logo of the product being ordered, such as the brand of toilet paper or coffee. The Dash buttons do not show the current price Amazon is charging the customer for the product, which violates German consumer protection laws because shoppers don’t know what they are paying for the product at the time they order it. As the head of Germany’s consumer protection watchdog, Wolfgang Schuldzinski, said on Thursday:
“We are always open to innovation. But if innovation means that the consumer is put at a disadvantage and price comparisons are made difficult then we fight that.”
As for Amazon, a company spokesperson told Reuters that the e-commerce giant will fight the ruling in court, saying, “Today’s ruling is not only hostile to innovation. It also stops customers from making an informed decision about whether a service like the Dash button gives them a convenient shopping experience.”
The thumb-sized Dash buttons have been available since 2015.