Indexation of retail prices in European telecoms contracts 19 January 23 Laurence Nivot

In the context of high inflation in most European countries, some telecoms operators have increased their retail prices.

This would usually represent a change of the general contractual conditions and would allow end users to terminate their contract without incurring any penalty.

In contrast, some operators include in their contracts the possibility to automatically increase their retail prices in line with a specific national economic index.

In a selection of 13 European countries, Cullen International researched the existence of rules around such indexation clauses and the practice of operators.

In November 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that that price adjustments based on an indexation clause that refers to a price index compiled by a public institution does not give the subscriber the right to terminate the contract without penalty.

In most countries, there are no rules regarding the use of indexation clauses. France, Ireland and the UK do have rules or guidance on which official index may be used, how consumers should be informed, and how they may exit the contract.

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