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dr Antoni Bolecki
Media mergers under the current decisional practice of the Polish competition authority
At the beginning of 2021, Poland’s competition authority issued two decisions regarding concentrations of undertakings in the media market. The first decision by the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) banned Agora SA’s acquisition of control over Eurozet sp. z o.o., while the second allowed PKN Orlen SA to acquire control over Polska Press sp. z o.o. Both decisions are heavily commented on in the media. It is worth looking at them from the point of view of the legal constructions they raise.
Data sharing in the light of competition law
competition, new technologies, data protection
Sharing, exchanging or jointly collecting data may be valuable for the businesses involved and for the development of a given industry sector, technological innovation, and, as a result, consumers. Indeed, data are of fundamental importance for the development of the digital economy, either alone or as a basis for functioning of artificial intelligence. Hence, the competitiveness of companies on the market depends on access to relevant data.
Cooperation between competitors during the crisis
One method companies have of dealing with the crisis is to cooperate with their rivals. But before entering into such cooperation, it is worth examining whether it constitutes a conspiracy subject to sanctions from the national competition authority, the European Commission or other antitrust bodies.
Can a business be a consumer? Yes, from 1 June 2020
competition, new provisions
From 1 June 2020 the regulations on prohibited contractual provisions (abusive clauses), so far applicable only to consumers, will in certain situations also apply to sole traders. This change will generate many practical problems.
Contractual advantage: Examples of potentially prohibited practices
competition, new provisions
A new regulation, Art. 385(5) of the Civil Code, enters into force on 1 June 2020. It expands the application of provisions on abusive clauses to cover sole traders. This provision may have repercussions under the Contractual Advantage Act. The competition authority may treat the use of abusive clauses by an entity holding a contractual advantage in contracts with sole traders as abuse of a contractual advantage.
Compliance and competition law
A competition compliance programme should protect an undertaking against commission of violations prosecuted by the competition authority. This applies to anticompetitive arrangements between competitors, or between suppliers and distributors, as well as abuse of a dominant position. Such infringements are threatened by punishment of up to 10% of an undertaking’s annual turnover.
Competition, politics, and double standards
Contemporary competition law is built on two pillars: faith in the liberal market economy and faith in economic analysis. But in many countries in the West, including Poland, this faith is clearly dying. How will competition law look in the third decade of the 21st century, and will the current situation inevitably lead to changes in the principles governing enforcement of competition law?
Restrictions on online sales in distribution agreements
Manufacturers like to exert an influence over the manner in which their products are sold by distributors. But excessive interference in online sales by a distributor may be found to be an illegal anti-competitive arrangement.
Competition aspects of access to confidential information in M&A transactions
Anytime competitors share confidential information it may attract the attention of competition authorities. This holds true when information is exchanged in connection with M&A activity.