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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK's Activity in 2011

< previous | next > 16.07.2012

UOKiK's Activity in 2011

944 decisions concerning competition and consumer protection, product safety and financial sanctions exceeding PLN 397 million – these are results of works performed by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in 2011

Antimonopoly proceedings are the essential instrument applied by the President of UOKiK within competition protection. They may be concluded with, inter alia, issuing an order to discontinue contested practice as well as imposing fines. In the year 2011, the President of UOKiK conducted 509 explanatory proceedings and 128 antimonopoly proceedings – 92 concerning the abuse of a dominant market position by undertakings, 37 – prohibited agreements.

In the year 2011, the President of UOKiK conducted 509 explanatory proceedings and 128 antimonopoly proceedings – 92 concerning the abuse of a dominant market position by undertakings, 37 – prohibited agreements

Last year the President of UOKiK issued 100 decisions concerning competition-restricting practices, including 72 regarding the abuse of a dominant position and 28 – prohibited agreements. One of them consisted in market division between PZU and Maximus Broker (a company from Toruń). The inspection with search performed at the companies’ premises proved the collusion was entered in 2009 and it regarded the sale of group personal accident insurances (pl.NNW) to education centres in Kujawsko-Pomorskie voivodeship. For the participation in unlawful agreement PZUand Maximus Broker were imposed financial penalties respectively - PLN 56 604 783andPLN 61 858.

Furthermore, the President of UOKiK has the power to control the concentration in order to avoid the situation when, as a result of a transaction, a dominant entity emerges in the market. Last year, UOKiK carried out 206 cases concerning mergers and acquisitions of undertakings. Among 172 issued decisions, there were two prohibitions of concentration and three conditional consents to a takeover. Notifications mostly concerned the trade (30) and services (23).

UOKiK's Activity in 2011

State aid monitoring is closely connected with the protection of competition. The President of UOKiK deals, inter alia, with issuing opinions on state aid for undertakings, granted by the state under aid schemes as well as individual decisions before they are sent to the European Commission which decides on aid compliance with EU regulations. In the year 2011, the President of UOKiK received 438 applications for opinions and 466 draft government documents to review in respect of potential application of state aid. 35 draft projects were notified to the European Commission (14 regarding individual aid, 10 – individual aid for restructuring and 11 – aid schemes).  

Last year UOKiK conducted 372 proceedings concerning practices violating collective consumer interests. Consequently, the President of the Office issued 294 decisions, including 180 stating the prohibited practices had been applied.

As far as different kinds of services are concerned, a consumer has no possibility to negotiate the contract terms – the consumer’s role is merely either to accept or to reject the contract. Unfortunately, it may occur a consumer may be imposed some clauses, potentially not always favourable. In 2011, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection continued the inspection of standard forms of agreements applied by undertakings. The subjects of examination were standard forms applied by tour operators and energy companies. The inspections resulted in instituting over 60 proceedings concerning the violation of collective consumer interests.

UOKiK's Activity in 2011

In the year 2011, UOKiK brought to court in total 37 actions to regard applied clauses as prohibited. At that time, following actions brought by other entities, 634 clauses were entered in the register of prohibited clauses.

With the consumer protection in view are also proceedings concerning the cases on general product safety. Here, the President of UOKiK may order, inter alia, to withdraw from the market a product dangerous for its users, as well as impose a financial penalty — up to PLN 100 thousand. Last year, UOKiK handled 332 cases within general product safety. In 104 cases, upon completion of the proceedings, the President of UOKIK issued the decisions which committed the undertakings to eliminate the dangers, warn consumers, and, prohibited the distribution of the products in the market or required their withdrawal. Financial sanctions were imposed on undertakings in 22 cases. In addition to that, UOKiK received 123 voluntary notifications from entrepreneurs that their products did not comply with safety requirements. Most of them (99) came from automotive industry, the remaining concerned inter alia electric devices and products destined for children.

UOKiK's Activity in 2011

The safety control for products launched into the market is also performed under the procedures within the conformity assessment system. These proceedings embrace over 20 groups of products e.g. electric products or toys, labelled with the CE mark, which have to meet the requirements specified in applicable Polish regulations based on EU law. UOKIK conducts proceedings in cooperation with specialized institutions such as the maritime offices or construction supervision authorities. As a consequence, the President of UOKiK may order e.g. withdrawal of a hazardous product from the market. Last year UOKiK carried out 447 cases concerning the conformity assessment system. The President of UOKiK issued 378 decisions, including 48 cases where specified obligations were imposed on undertakings.

Furthermore, UOKiK takes responsibility for managing the surveillance system for fuel quality. Inspections carried out in 2011 clearly indicated that the quality of liquid fuels and LPG gas (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) slightly improved as compared to the previous year. Only 2.99 % of petrol samples (out of tested 468 ones) did not meet the quality requirements. In the case of liquefied gas, irregularities were identified in 2.35 % of samples, out of 451 tested samples.

UOKiK's Activity in 2011

Legislative work was an important aspect of UOKiK’s activities in 2011. The Office examined 2.3 thousand drafts of legal acts and opinions concerning Seym drafts in respect of their impact on competition and consumers. In 2011, at the request of UOKiK, works were performed on proposed changes to the Acts concerning competition and consumer protection, consumer credit and timeshare.

Last year, UOKiK conducted the information campaign Merger under control, which promoted the leniency progamme. Moreover, works on guidelines for market analyses, carried out in the course of proceedings in concentation cases, have been commenced.

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]

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