Sabina Famirska: articles by this author

President of UOKiK at war with price-gougers

The president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has declared war on sellers unfairly raising prices of products during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the instruments proposed by the regulator in combating this pathology is establishment by the Ministry of Development of maximum prices and margins on products essential from the perspective of consumers’ interests (a change included in the recent amendment to the Anti-Crisis Act). On this occasion it is worth reviewing the authority vested in the president of UOKiK to regulate product prices under current law.

Compliance and new regulations on payment gridlock

New regulations on payment gridlock entered into force on 1 January 2020, via an amendment to the Act Combatting Excessive Delays in Commercial Transactions of 8 March 2013, the Civil Procedure Code, and the Unfair Competition Act. How will the new rules affect compliance in companies?

The principle of proportionality in public procurement

According to Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) case law and EC directives, the principle of proportionality and equal treatment must be observed when selecting contractors in public procurement proceedings. Clearly, the Public Procurement Office and National Appeals Chamber have an obligation to evaluate public procurement proceedings in terms of these principles. However, as complaints about breach of competition regulations in tenders are submitted to the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), it is not clear whether this institution is required to refer to these principles.

Supreme Court judgment will not benefit all cartel participants

A judgment of the Supreme Court overruling a decision of the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) does not apply to all participants in an agreement restricting competition. If a cassation appeal by one of them has been rejected or the Supreme Court has refused to accept it for examination, the case is irrevocably closed, regardless of how the proceedings continue and whether the decision of the president of UOKiK is ultimately upheld.

Harder to protect trade secrets in commercial relations

An amendment to the Polish Unfair Competition Act extends the legal protection given to trade secrets. But information known to or easily attainable for people in a particular sector or familiar with a particular subject will not constitute trade secrets even if the information is not disclosed to the general public. Labelling it “confidential” might not be sufficient.

Joint ventures can be risky

Creation of a joint venture by competitors, or obtaining joint control over a competing company through acquisition of its shares, may give rise to significant antitrust risks. Obtaining approval for the transaction from the competition authority may not ensure legal safety when competitors intend to pursue joint business initiatives.