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German court rules Amazon Dash button violates consumer laws

A court in Germany ruled that Amazon.com Inc.'s thumb-sized press-to-order devices, called Dash button, are violating consumer protection laws in the country, Reuters reported Jan. 10.

The decision came after a regional consumer protection watchdog filed a suit against the e-commerce giant, arguing that the buttons put consumers at a "disadvantage" as shoppers should know what they are purchasing at any given time in a transaction, the report said.

Dash, launched in 2015, is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that allows Prime members to reorder products, such as laundry detergent, coffee and dishwasher tablets, at the push of a button.

The court ruled that the buttons do not give sufficient information about the product being ordered or its price, according to the report.

The consumer body reportedly said the court would not grant an appeal, but an Amazon spokesman told Reuters that the company would fight the ruling through other legal channels.

"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 spokesman reportedly said.

The news comes as Amazon faces a probe by Germany's antitrust watchdog over how the company treats third-party merchants who use its marketplace.