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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK breaks next collusions

< previous | next > 11.01.2012

UOKiK breaks next collusions

JBB, the producer of cold meats, along with its distributors: Tassi, Jakomex and Makton were fixing resale prices of their products. The decision was issued thanks to information provided by one of participants to the collusion. Additionally, distributors of musical instruments and food preparation appliances concluded unlawful agreements

Price collusions of undertakings belong to the most serious infringements of competition.
A participation in competition-restricting agreements entails financial penalty of up to 10 percent of udertaking’s revenue in the year preceding the issuance of such decision. Harsh punishment can be avoided thanks to the introduction of the leniency programme.

Price collusions of undertakings belong to the most serious infringements of competition. They can be concluded not only between competitors but also undertakings operating at different levels of economic turnover (e.g. a producer and distributors). A participation in competition-restricting agreements entails financial penalty of up to 10 percent of udertaking’s revenue in the year preceding the issuance of such decision. Harsh punishment can be avoided thanks to the introduction of the leniency programme. An entity which undertakes cooperation with UOKiK, e.g. presents evidence for the existence of a cartel, was not the cartel initiator and ceased the unlawful practice, may even expect full immunity from fine.

One of the latest decisions issued by the President of UOKiK concerns the agreement concluded between  JBB (cold meats and  meat products producer) and the distributors of its products - Bruno Tassi, Jakomex and Makton. The collusion lasted from January 2007 to February 2009. According to UOKiK, at the meeting of company representatives they signed  a note stating that distributors are obliged to use fixed resale prices for JBB meat products. The cold meats producer was the agreement’s initiator.

Meat

UOKiK obtained the information concerning the collusion during the insection with search at the undertakings’ premises as well as from participant of the agreement – Makton company, which intended to apply for the leniency. During the proceedings the undertaking provided the authority inter alia with e-mails indicating the collusion, a list of applied sale and purchase prices as well as margin for JBB products. Moreover, the undertaking informed the Office about the nature and mechanisms of the agreement’s operation. As the produced evidence essentially contributed to the issuance of the decision and the undertaking was not the agreement’s initiator, undertook cooperation during the proceedings and ceased participation in the collusion, the President of UOKiK resigned from imposing any financial penalty on Makton. The remaining participants to the agreement were imposed a fine in total amounting to PLN 4 871 312, respectively: JBB (PLN 2 762 026), Bruno-Tassi (PLN 1 799 399) and Jakomex (PLN 309 887).

Roland Polska also applied the practice consisting in fixing prices with its business partners. The company is a distributor of musical instruments produced by a Japanese company Roland Corporation under the following business names: Roland, Boss, Rodgers and Cakewalk. In this case customers purchasing musical instruments on-line lost the opportunity to buy the products at prices lower than resale prices fixed with distributors.

Roland Polska started fixing with its distributors the minimum resale prices for its products in May 2008 at the latest. Furthermore, the company was actively checking if its distributors applied the prices indicated. A great deal of evidence including e-correspondence between Roland Polska company and its business partners was collected during the inspection with search performed by UOKiK.

For applying competition-restricting practices Roland Polska was imposed a fine amounting to PLN 219 947. Additionally, the President of UOKiK ordered the company to discontinue the prohibited practice.

An inspection with search resulted in identifying by UOKiK another collusion which regards the company Rational, a general representative for the Polish market of the producer of convection steam ovens Rational. The device is used for preparing meals in group feeding, e.g. in restaurants, bars or hotels. According to UOKiK, from November 2009 to October 2011 the company commited its distributors to a further resale of the products at minimum prices. Rational was monitoring its business partners and was active whenever other than the fixed prices were used. For applying the unlawful practice the company was imposed a fine amounting to PLN 276 599.

The mentioned decisions are not final and can be appealed to the court.

A participant to unlawful agreement who intends to apply for the leniency programme may submit the application personally at the seat of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Warszawa, to the employee of UOKiK for official record, by mail, fax or email: [SCODE]bGVuaWVuY3lAdW9raWsuZ292LnBs[ECODE]. Answers to all questions regarding the programme, even anonymous, are provided by UOKiK lawyers under the telephone number: +48 22 55 60 555.

Additional information for the media:
Małgorzata Cieloch, Spokesperson for UOKiK
Department of International Relations and Communication
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Phone: +48 22 55 60 106
Fax: +48 22 826 11 86
E-mail: [SCODE]bWFsZ29yemF0YS5jaWVsb2NoQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

 

Attached files

 

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