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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK's activities in 2018

< previous | next > 18.12.2019

UOKiK's activities in 2018
  • 890 decisions in the field of competition and consumer protection, over PLN 19 million of imposed penalties, over 700 significant opinions issued in court cases.
  • These are just some examples of UOKiK's activities in 2018.
  • Download the office report and read what we did last year.

- In 2018, we issued almost 900 decisions, including the first decision on unfair use of contractual advantage. These are the data for the last year, but we already know that compared to the passing 2019, some trends are visible. The last two years have been primarily an increase of our activity on the financial services market: we issued decisions on the durable information medium, we initiated proceedings regarding corporate bonds. We have also gained the competence to impose financial penalties on managers who violate consumer rights. In the area of competition, we are developing the Sygnalista program and we are effective in detecting tender collusions says the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Marek Niechciał.

COMPETITION PROTECTION

In 2018, UOKiK initiated 75 explanatory proceedings and 18 proceedings on competition-restricting practices, including 12 antitrust proceedings and 6 proceeding on practices of unfair usage of contractual advantage. In addition, the office issued 103 soft speeches - 77 on competition-restricting practices and 26 regarding the use of contractual advantage.

Last year, UOKiK issued 9 decisions on competition-restricting practices: the first decision on unfair use of contractual advantage, three on unlawful agreements, five on abuse of a dominant position. The total financial penalties for competition-restricting practices amounted to PLN 1.1 million.

Entrepreneurs applied for reduction of fines seven times thank to the leniency program. It involves a more benign treatment of a participant of an unlawful agreement if he provides relevant evidence and cooperates with the office.

The year 2018 also brought 1560 notifications from anonymous whistle-blowers. Some of them were used during 9 searches carried out by the office at the premises of 28 entrepreneurs. A search is used in situations where it is suspected that an entity has evidence of practices restricting concurrence. It is conducted only after obtaining the consent of the court and usually with the assistance of the police.

Concentration control

Competition protection is also concentration control. In 2018, the office initiated 252 proceedings in which it checked whether mergers and acquisitions would not adversely affect the competition of entrepreneurs. In the last year there were 228 transaction approvals and reservations in one case. The vast majority of proceedings (over 95%) ended in the first phase, and their average duration was 36 days. The concentrations most often concerned banking and insurance (35), real estate (27), automotive (18) and food (17) sectors.

Public aid

Public aid is state interference in free market mechanisms, which is why it is used to a limited extent. UOKiK initially assesses individual support and assistance programs for compliance with EU law and monitors public aid. In 2018, the President of UOKiK received 455 applications for interpretation and 607 draft government documents for analysis. The Office notified 22 projects of the European Commission.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

Protection of collective consumer interests and prohibited contractual provisions

UOKiK initiated 65 proceedings regarding practices infringing collective consumer interests, 26 concerning the recognition of contract template provisions as prohibited and 125 explanatory proceedings. The president of the office issued 48 decisions regarding practices infringing collective consumer interests and 8 decisions in cases regarding the recognition of standard contract provisions as prohibited. In addition, in 26 cases the office accepted the entrepreneur's obligation to change his/her practice. Financial penalties amounted to PLN 16.9 million. Soft activities were numerous: the office sent 400 letters to entrepreneurs ordering them to change their practice. In addition, 726 times the office supported persons who fought for their rights in court, by providing relevant opinions.

Product safety

Consumer protection pursued by UOKiK also covers product safety. Last year the office opened 69 proceedings in this regard and issued 97 decisions, imposing obligations on entrepreneurs 5 times, and fines 32 times. During the proceedings, most companies removed threats or eliminated dangerous products from the market.

UOKiK also monitors the system of controlling non-food products in terms of their compliance with EU requirements. In 2018, the office ran 203 administrative proceedings and issued 246 decisions.

Fuel quality

UOKiK is also responsible for managing the fuel quality monitoring and control system. The results of the Trade Inspection controls conducted in 2018 showed that the quality of liquid fuels was more often questioned than the quality of LPG, while the results of inspections were slightly better than in 2017. Only 1.9 percent of gasoline and diesel samples and 1.43 percent of liquefied gas (LPG) samples did not meet the quality requirements.

LEGISLATION

UOKiK as a central administration body is also involved in the creation of effective legal regulations. In 2018 we analysed over 2500 projects and positions for parliamentary projects all together in order to give an opinion on their potential impact on competition and the situation of consumers.

A report on the activities of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in 2018 can be found at the UOKiK's website.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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