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Contractual advantage: Overview of the Polish competition authority’s actions on the agri-food market
Since 2017, Poland’s competition authority has initiated dozens of proceedings for practices unfairly exploiting contractual advantage. As a result, nearly 20 decisions have already been issued, and many notices have been issued to companies. The fines alone have amounted to some PLN 1.1 billion (although appeals against some decisions are pending). To date, the largest fine for unfair exploitation of contractual advantage is over PLN 723 million (assessed against Jerónimo Martins Polska SA in 2020). What practices is the regulator seeking to identify and punish?
Contractual advantage: Overview of the Polish competition authority’s actions on the agri-food market
Control of concentrations of undertakings receiving foreign subsidies: New powers of the European Commission
In recent years, new EU legislation has appeared addressing the influence of third countries on proper functioning of the internal market, including a mechanism for examination and control by the Commission of subsidies granted by third countries for planned economic activity in the EU of publicly or privately owned undertakings. The new rules also involve control of concentrations within the EU.
Control of concentrations of undertakings receiving foreign subsidies: New powers of the European Commission
The Polish competition authority’s plans for 2023
Under the statutory powers vested in the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), the regulator deals with issues including competition protection, contractual advantage, control of concentrations and investments, payment gridlock, and consumer protection. The activity plan for 2023 developed by UOKiK shows the areas considered key for this year.
The Polish competition authority’s plans for 2023
Greenwashing: How to communicate without misleading?
In the face of the climate crisis, the interest in sustainability issues is growing. This increasingly brings the issue of greenwashing to the fore. “Greenwashing” refers to creation of a false impression among the public regarding the supposedly green practices applied by a business or the environmental benefits of its goods and services. Typically greenwashing is used to raise the attractiveness of goods or services in the eyes of prospective buyers, and thus to increase sales and attract customers. But sometimes the spread of misleading ecological messages is simply due to ignorance.
Greenwashing: How to communicate without misleading?
Influencers and social media advertising: More guidance from UOKiK
It has been a month since the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection published the Recommendations on social media advertising labelling. Now the regulator is back with a collection of FAQs from users concerning the recommendations.
It has been a month since the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection published the Recommendations on social media advertising labelling. Now the regulator is back with a collection of FAQs from users concerning the recommendations.
Influencers and social media advertising: More guidance from UOKiK
Advertising of medical devices and collaboration with influencers
Significant changes are coming for medical device advertising. The rules will be much stricter than before, but still more lenient than drug advertising regulations. For the first time, the new Medical Devices Act regulates influencer advertising. It is already clear that sponsored content will be deemed to be advertising and thus must meet specific requirements under the Medical Devices Act. Companies have until the end of the year to sort out their relationships with influencers.
Advertising of medical devices and collaboration with influencers
New EU regulation on vertical agreements: Changes to distribution rules
Since 1 June 2022, a new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation from the European Commission has been in force, setting out the rules for application of EU competition principles to cooperation between suppliers and buyers, in particular distribution. Some forms of vertical collaboration that were previously allowed are now banned. Others have been brought under the protection of the block exemption, meaning that they are now allowed. Some changes can be considered revolutionary.
New EU regulation on vertical agreements: Changes to distribution rules
UOKiK’s business plan for 2022
Protecting consumers from unfair practices in financial services, telecommunications, and consumer sales. Early detection of bid ridding. Combatting payment gridlock. Implementation of EU directives and regulations. These are some of the plans for 2022 of the Polish competition authority.
UOKiK’s business plan for 2022
Mystery shopper: Controlled purchases by UOKiK
Traditionally, a mystery shopper is used for business audits and customer satisfaction surveys. Since 2016, the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has also been entitled to use this legal instrument. But in each case the authority must obtain prior approval of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Mystery shopper: Controlled purchases by UOKiK
Maximum fines imposed by the Polish competition authority for gun-jumping in the Nord Stream 2 project, and appeals against the decision
In connection with the recent intensified press reports on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, it is worth reviewing the current status of the case and the actions of the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in this regard. In a decision dated 6 October 2020, the Polish regulator imposed fines in the maximum amount (over PLN 29 billion) on Gazprom and five other companies (in the total amount of PLN 234 million) for setting up a joint venture without his prior consent.
Maximum fines imposed by the Polish competition authority for gun-jumping in the Nord Stream 2 project, and appeals against the decision
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.
Media mergers under the current decisional practice of the Polish competition authority
Geo-blocking game sales
Geo-blocking limits the ability to buy products and services based on the customer’s nationality or residence. The conditions for access to goods and services and payment terms vary according to geographical criteria. In principle, such practices are prohibited in the EU. Does this ban also apply to video games?
Geo-blocking game sales