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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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PKP PLK changes its practice

< previous | next > 28.12.2018

PKP PLK changes its practice
  • UOKiK issued a decision in which it concluded that PKP PLK could have abused its market position in relations with suppliers of railway products and technologies.
  • The company undertook to change the practice that could have limited competition.


The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) launched proceedings into the PKP PLK case in September 2017. The Office had doubts regarding the provisions included in the procedure SMS-PW-17 Safety Management System. It concerns the principles of approval for use of railway products and technologies, including rails, sleepers and overhead power lines. A product that is not approved by the railway network administrator as specified in the procedure may not be used on railway lines operated by PKP PLK. A supplier which is not positively verified in the procedure is barred from offering its products and technologies not only to PKP PLK itself, but also to other entities to which PKP PLK contracts the construction, overhaul or modernisation of a railway line.

UOKiK challenged the regulations that – in the case of any claim being made with regard to the certification process – limit the scope of PKP PLK's compensation responsibility to the value of a single product that is being subject to the procedure. According to UOKiK, it could also be unlawful to transfer the entire responsibility for damage caused during field tests, including third party damage, onto the potential supplier.

Additionally, the Office concluded that competition could have been restricted by an SMS-PW-17 procedure provision under which the entire procedure could be suspended if the supplier filed complaints or claims. The Office concluded that this provision could discourage suppliers from filing complaints or claims against PKP PLK. Addressing such complaints and claims, especially in a judicial procedure, could take up to several years. During that time, the supplier would have practically no possibility of selling its products.

- PKP PLK manages nearly all railway lines in Poland. Companies that enjoy such a significant position on a given market may not use it to the disadvantage of their contractors. We concluded that PKP PLK's activities could have constituted an infringement of competition. We are pleased that in the course of our procedure the company made a commitment to change its practices. This will make it possible to swiftly eliminate activities that hinder the operation of the suppliers of railway products and technologies - says UOKiK President Marek Niechciał.

PKP PLK made a commitment to remove from the SMS-PW-17 procedure – within a month from the decision becoming legally valid – the provision concerning its suspension in the case of complaints or claims. The company will not use this practice in the future, either. In the case of two other challenged provisions, the company undertook not to use them in documents concerning the principles of approving products and technologies on its railway lines.

The company will also have to file a report on the fulfilment of its obligation.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: +48 22 55 60 430
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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