Consumer protection

Consumer protection is the practice of safeguarding buyers of goods and services and the public against unfair practices in the marketplace as a whole. A consumer is thereby regarded as someone who acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights and to the formation of consumer organisations which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace. Regulation might therefore require businesses to disclose detailed information about products or forbid advertisements that can deceive consumers. The European Union has been very active in the field of consumer protection, producing a considerable volume of Directives which require member states to regulate consumer protection to a particular standard.