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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Competition authority searches premises of Grupa Allegro

< previous | next > 07.07.2017

Competition authority searches premises of Grupa Allegro
  • The UOKiK is conducting a search on the premises of Grupa Allegro.
  • The search was ordered in connection with the explanatory proceedings intended to verify whether the undertaking may be according favourable treatment to its own online store at the expense of other sellers.

The search was ordered in connection with the explanatory proceedings initiated by the UOKiK on June 21. The Competition Authority has received numerous complaints in which various undertakings pointed out the changes made by the Company to its sales platform. The changes in question allegedly resulted in the products sold on this platform by the Allegro online store always being listed as “best match” in search results.

 – We want to make a preliminary determination as to whether the activities of Grupa Allegro may have amounted to competition-restricting practices. What we are trying to verify is whether the company is according favourable treatment to its own online store, including, in particular, by prioritising the products offered in search results — says Marek Niechciał, President of the UOKiK.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection may use a variety of measures in order to gather evidence of conclusion of an unlawful agreement. One of the most effective among those measures is conducting a search of the entrepreneur’s premises.

– According favourable treatment to own products by companies which enjoy a strong position on the electronic sales market is an issue which antitrust authorities all over the world need to tackle on a daily basis. The European Commission has recently imposed an EUR 2.4 billion fine on Google. However, the case of the Grupa Allegro is still at a very early stage; at the moment, we are conducting explanatory proceedings, which means that the proceedings merely involve the Grupa Allegro and are not conducted against it — the President of the UOKiK explains.

A search of company premises is a tool which is used in situations where it is suspected that the given entity is in possession of evidence which may be relevant to the case. A search may only be conducted if the UOKiK obtains the approval of the court. The UOKiK needs to seek the approval of the court in every single case where it intends to carry out a search. In the course of a search, the undertaking is under an obligation to grant the inspectors access to its buildings and premises as well as to make available all documents and data carriers. A search is usually conducted in the presence of Police officers. During this year alone, the Competition Authority has already used this option twice in order to obtain the necessary evidence.

Additional information for the media:

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

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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