opinion

'Button Law' Slows Germany's Mobile Market

Stephen Yagielowicz

The European mobile market may be on a fast track, but there are always bumps in the road — usually taking the form of nagging regulations.

One case in point is the new “Button Law” regulation that took effect in Germany on Aug. 1 for all Internet and mobile related payment services.

The new rule is basically a customer protection measure that forces product owners to “clearly communicate” the price so that users avoid paying unwillingly for adult mobile services.

According to mobile affiliate program BrokerBabe’s sales and marketing manager Giancarlo Scalisi, the new rule is hampering the company’s global expansion after it successfully made inroads in both Switzerland and Germany just last April.

Scalisi says the new rule is basically a customer protection measure that forces product owners to “clearly communicate” the price so that users avoid paying unwillingly for adult mobile services.

And although mobile is hot throughout the region, the German market is suffering from the rule because of required changes to already established methods. Scalisi said that although mobile porn is still growing overall because of smartphone growth and Internet flat rates, Germany’s taken a hit due to the regulatory blip.

Billing is actually becoming BrokerBabe’s biggest challenge, not only in Germany but internationally, according to the executive. He says as each country administers its own regulations; mobile pros will have to dance to different tunes.

“Mobile billing is even more complicated because every network operator will again have regulations.”

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