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.
In the UOKiK 2022 Activity Plan, adopted by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), the regulator places great emphasis on its legislative agenda. Here we should cite projects aimed at approximation of Polish law to EU law:
- Increasing protection of competition in the market:
- Implementation of the ECN+ Directive (2019/1)
- Increasing the level of consumer protection:
- Implementation of the Omnibus Directive (2019/2161)
- Implementation of the CPC Regulation (2017/2394)
- Implementation of the Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (2020/1828).
As in previous years, this year the regulator will also pay special attention to consumer protection issues. The UOKiK 2022 Activity Plan identifies as priority sectors:
- Financial services
- Consumer sales
- Telecommunications services.
Additionally, the UOKiK 2022 Activity Plan shows that the regulator will pursue consumer protection initiatives in such areas as:
- FinTech, debt consolidation loans and debt rollovers, pyramid promotional schemes, and alternative investments
- Activities of touts, influencers and bloggers
- Mobile applications
- Systemic irregularities in handling complaints
- Eliminating unsolicited service practices in the telecommunications market
- Eliminating violations during product demonstrations (protecting seniors)
- Completing the project for bringing businesses into compliance with consumer credit prepayment regulations.
Thus, overall, in 2022 the activity of the president of UOKiK will constitute a continuation of the regulator’s activities in 2021.
The president of UOKiK will continue to take action to reduce the occurrence of payment gridlocks in key sectors of the economy (particularly in the service, retail and construction sectors). As a result, the payment discipline of large businesses and the financial liquidity of businesses most at risk of delays should improve.
It is also worth noting the plan to create and implement IT tools for detecting bid ridding using statistical analysis. They are intended to enable early detection of bid ridding.
Agnieszka Jelska, attorney-at-law, Competition & Consumer Protection practice, Wardyński & Partners