Poland: Proposed competition law changes adopted


This means that UOKiK, Poland’s competition authority, can now start working on the exact wording of the amendments.

As we reported here in March 2012, the proposed changes have already been sent for public consultation and then for consultations between ministers.

Key changed elements include:

• merger control: introducing criteria for UOKiK to decide whether Phase II in-depth investigation, lasting four months, will be required (where a notified merger case is complex or raises doubts);

• merger control: a duty on UOKIK, on request by the notifying party, to maintain confidentiality over the part of its conditional clearance decision that imposes a deadline for meeting any conditions imposed;

• dawn raids: disapplying the doctrine of legal professional privilege to dawn raids on the basis that the current attorney-client privilege regulations in the Criminal Procedure Code are sufficient;

• leniency programme: requiring leniency applicants to stop participating in a cartel at the very latest immediately after submitting their leniency application;

• leniency programme: introducing a ‘leniency plus’ programme under which leniency applicants may receive an additional reduction in their fine for informing UOKIK about another cartel, previously unknown to it;

• voluntary penalties: enabling businesses to submit voluntarily to a penalty in return for a 10% reduction in their fine (settlements procedure) but only when the authority decides that a settlement will speed up the antimonopoly proceedings;

• financial penalties for individuals: an ability for UOKiK to impose fines of up to €500,000 for some competition law infringements by an individual responsible for illegal conduct;

• consumer protection: a new ability for UOKiIK to issue public warnings about the most serious cases currently under investigation which involve infringements of collective consumer interests.