competition

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.

UOKiK targets persons in management positions

For the first time, the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) is conducting antimonopoly proceedings concerning competition-restricting agreements not only concerning businesses, but also persons managing them. This is a milestone in the history of enforcement of competition law in Poland. An outline of the rules regarding liability of persons managing a business and business enterprise in the context of prohibited agreements follows.

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.

Protecting against disclosure of trade secrets by former employees

Once the Unfair Competition Act is amended, will a nondisclosure obligation have to be provided for explicitly in an employment contract when an employee leaves?

Whistleblowing and protection of confidential information

Protection of confidential information is not absolute and is subject to limitations, for instance where there is a public interest. Subject to certain conditions, a person who has a nondisclosure obligation may lawfully use the entrusted information despite the confidentiality obligation. At the moment there is no all-embracing regulation on this issue, but this may change soon.