The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“UOKiK”) is authorized to open several types of investigations or proceedings. UOKiK investigates possible violations of the Competition Act through what is referred to as preliminary and antitrust proceedings. The President can also open proceedings to determine whether:
Finally, the President of UOKiK conducts proceedings in a regulatory area called “market supervision.”
The President of UOKiK may impose high fines for a violation of the Polish Competition Act or of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. A fine can be as high as 10% of annual turnover, if UOKiK finds that a company’s market practice restricts competition or violates collective consumer interests. Managers who have been charged with contributing to the company’s violation of the Competition Act can be fined as much as PLN 2 million.
Hansberry Tomkiel offers legal support and representation at each stage of an UOKiK investigation as well as in subsequent judicial proceedings (in common and administrative courts) should an appeal be filed.
The Firm is adept in establishing the relevant facts in a case and identifying arguments to justify challenged conduct. We work closely with our clients during investigatory proceedings to ensure that complete and strategic explanations and defences are submitted to UOKiK. When necessary, our Firm works hand in hand with specialised teams of antitrust economists and industry experts.
If a client’s conduct appears to exceed what is legally permitted and the client wishes to mitigate or resolve its exposure at an earlier stage, HT assists in identifying the appropriate legal remedy to mitigate or conclude liability vis a vis UOKiK. Possible methods include the leniency program, commitments or settlements.
Regarding concentration proceedings, Hansberry Tomkiel is well experienced in drafting pre-merger notifications and in representing our clients throughout UOKiK’s merger review proceedings.
Some examples of the Firm’s cases are:
In addition to representing its clients before the President of UOKiK, Hansberry Tomkiel offers the following: