In the modern consumer oriented, globalised and digital economy accountability and confidence play a crucial role. Traders should be made accountable for their behaviour if that is detrimental for consumers. Measures to enhance confidence of consumers will contribute to the creation of healthy markets In particular, access to redress by consumers when traders violate their rights promotes consumer confidence and is a stimulus for sound traders' performance.
Within the market a trend can be identified towards an increasing scaling up of mass claims. Expanding mass consumer markets with traders and consumers shopping cross-border and on the internet create a high potential for large groups of consumers harmed by the same or a similar illegal practice of a trader.
These practices are no longer limited to breaches of traditional consumer law in the area of goods such as misleading advertising or the distribution of unsafe products. More or more illegal acts such as overcharging of billing or the lack to provide pre-contractual information become common in the services sector. They usually affect large numbers of consumers and seriously harm the trust in the market. Recent developments such as the infringement of privacy rules or aggressive commercial practices in the digital environment often focus on the most vulnerable consumers.
The lack of an effective legal framework enabling consumers to ensure adequate compensation in mass claim cases is detrimental to the market and creates a justice gap. The effect of a malpractice may be so widespread as to distort markets. The lack of an adequate legal framework has a negative impact on consumers' confidence.
On 2 July 2009, the Italian parliamente finally approved the bill containing class action regulations, thus replacing Article 140-bis of the Consumer Code.