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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Introducing the whistleblower programme

< previous | next > 10.04.2017

Introducing the whistleblower programme
  • Got information on collusion? Now you can notify the UOKiK anonymously. The Competition Authority has launched a pilot programme designed to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.
  • You can contact us by calling +48 22 55 60 500 or by sending an e-mail to [SCODE]c3lnbmFsaXN0YUB1b2tpay5nb3YucGw=[ECODE].
  • For more information, please visit our new website: konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl

Prohibited agreements between entrepreneurs are harmful to all market participants. Price-fixing arrangements make it impossible for consumers to purchase products at advantageous prices. Market allocation schemes may result in the given type of goods being unavailable in a specific area. The legally operating competitors of cartels are also placed at a disadvantage. In 2016, The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection issued 13 decisions on illegal agreements between entrepreneurs, such as price-fixing arrangements or bid-rigging schemes.

– Achieving an increased detection rate for collusion is one of the most significant tasks which the Competition Authority faces today. For the above reason, we wish to introduce new tools which increase our efficiency. The whistleblower policy is one of such tools. This policy allows us to obtain anonymous information from persons who became aware of illegal practices. Our dedicated hotline and e-mail address make it possible to provide us with evidence of competition-restricting practices – says Mr Marek Niechciał, President of the UOKiK.

Anyone who has become aware of an illegal agreement may become a whistleblower. In many cases, people who witness practices of this kind are not even aware that they are in fact illegal. To give an example, retailers who apply minimum or fixed prices determined by the manufacturer are often unaware that this constitutes a price-fixing arrangement.

Anyone who has any information on competition-restricting practices may contact the UOKiK by calling +48 22 55 60 500 or by sending an e-mail to [SCODE]c3lnbmFsaXN0YUB1b2tpay5nb3YucGw=[ECODE].

The UOKiK is also working on legislative changes designed to ensure that the concept of a whistleblower is incorporated into the provisions of antitrust law on a permanent basis. Such regulations are already in force in Germany, Slovakia or Hungary, to give a few examples. Under the regulations in question, a substantial emphasis is placed on the protection of informant data. For example, under German law, an electronic system has been put in place which makes it possible to file anonymous notifications on infringements, ensuring that the identity of the whistleblower remains safe at all times. It should also be mentioned at this stage that in mid-March this year, the European Commission introduced an instrument which makes it possible for whistleblowers to come forward anonymously and supply information on collusive practices.

All information on our whistleblower programme can be found on the new website of the Competition Authority – konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl. This website is a compendium of knowledge on the competences of the UOKiK as well as on the actions which it takes in order to protect competition. In addition, it also contains information on potentially illegal practices, the types of decisions which the Competition Authority may adopt as well as on our leniency programme.

Additional information for the media:

Press Office of the UOKiK
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw
Phone: 695 902 088, 22 55 60 430
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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