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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK will inspect sports associations

< previous | next > 04.04.2019

UOKiK will inspect sports associations
  • Do the actions of PZPN and other sports associations towards betting companies violate competition law?
  • UOKiK has opened an investigation in this matter.
  • It concerns the method of determining the fee for a permit to use the results of games.

UOKiK (Office of Competition and Consumer Protection) has developed an interest in this matter after receiving reports concerning the activities of the PZPN (Polish Football Association). The complaints received by the office indicated that betting companies had to pay the association a fixed fee in the amount of 0.5% of total gross revenue for publishing the results of sporting events.

The concerns were connected to the fact that the amount collected by the Polish Football Association can be determined on the basis of the total revenue of the bookmaker, regardless of whether it was generated by games organised by the Polish Football Association or by other events. The amount also does not change if the bookmaker would only like to use the results of some games organised by the association (e.g. only matches of the Polish national team). The Office will also check whether other sports organisations, such as the Polish Handball Association and the Polish Volleyball Association, use similar practices.

- Betting companies are not allowed to use the results of sports events without consent of the organiser of the game, which has the right to charge for it. However, we would like to check whether the method of determining such fees may be linked to taking an advantage of the strong market position of the associations – says Michał Holeksa, Vice-President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection.

Under antitrust laws, an entity that holds a dominant position on a given market may not use it to the detriment of its competitors, contractors or consumers. Some practices permitted to other operators are prohibited in this case. For example, it is not allowed to impose onerous contractual terms that bring unjustified benefits to the dominant company, or to impose unfair prices.

- This is an investigation into this matter and not against any specific organisation. We want to determine whether sports associations have a dominant position on the market in terms of sharing the results of their own games and whether they use their negotiating power in an unlawful manner. The next stage may be to present allegations of using practices which restrict competition, which may result in a financial penalty of up to 10% of the entity's turnover – adds Michał Holeksa, Vice-President of UOKiK.

We would like to remind you about our programme aimed at obtaining information from anonymous whistle-blowers, including former and current employees of companies which violate the law. If you are aware of any anti-competition practices, please notify the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Contact us on 22 55 60 500 or at [SCODE]c3lnbmFsaXN0YUB1b2tpay5nb3YucGw=[ECODE]. All relevant information about the whistle-blower programme can be found on the website: konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 314
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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