Companies are fined by competition authorities but they don’t pay the fines

opublikowano: 06-02-2007, 14:42

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection  for companies increased the fines by 1,000 percent in 2006. It doesn’t matter because the companies avoid paying the fines.

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection  for companies increased the fines by 1,000 percent in 2006. It doesn’t matter because the companies avoid paying the fines. 

2006 was a record year as far as the value of fines from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) for the companies is concerned. The fines amounted to PLN 339m (EUR 87.6m) last year, 100 times more than in 2005 (PLN 38m). The companies do not pay the fines, however. Last year, they paid PLN 10.2m, or 3 percent of due fines, but five times more than in 2005 when they paid PLN 2m. 

DIY markets, paint producers and banks were punished more severely last year. Leroy Merlin Polska was fined with PLN 32.6m, Polifarb Cieszyn with PLN 32, Praktiker Polska PLN 17, NOMI PLN 14m.

“These companies were punished because they agreed on prices for some products”, Malgorzata Cieloch, UOKiK spokeswoman said.

All the companies have appealed. 

Banks were also investigated by the office last year.

“20 banks were fined with PLN 164m jointly because of an illegal cartel and setting interchange fees when using Visa and MasterCard cards”, UOKiK spokeswoman added.

PKO BP and Pekao are to pay most, or PLN 16.6m each.

“We have appealed. We don’t agree with these accusations”, Marek Klucinski, PKO BP spokesman said.

TP telecom was the third company as far as last year’s fines from UOKiK are concerned. Its fines amount to PLN 18m. The company has appealed in every case and paid only PLN 1.2m. PGNiG received record fine from UOKiK in 2004 (PLN 41m). The case is currently in the court of appeal.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.258)

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