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Authority recommends €1m fine for furniture chain Masku's misleading sale prices

The company often advertises sales featuring 80-90 percent discounts on prices that were never previously charged, according to the consumer authority.

The entrance to a Masku furniture outlet. Image: Mauri Ratilainen/AOP

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) has recommended that the discount furniture chain Masku be fined one million euros for repeated misleading marketing practices regarding sale prices.

According to the authority, the firm's advertised discounted prices for items are compared to higher sums that the company never actually charged.

A decision about the penalty fine will be reached by the Market Court of Finland.

The consumer authority launched an investigation into misleading marketing practices of furniture retailers in April.

KKV: Past fines inadequate

KKV said that Masku has advertised discounted prices up to 80 to 90 percent off the original retail price, but in reality such sale prices were not significantly lower than normal.

This fine recommendation marked the first time the KKV utilised such a penalty since a law change made it possible in 2020.

The discount furniture firm has previously been the target of smaller fines issued by the Market Court, most recently in 2016.

But the KKV's director Miina Ojajärvi said in a statement that past penalties have not been enough to dissuade the company from continuing to violate consumer protection laws.