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Market collusion? Give a signal! - the campaign launched by the President of UOKiK

< poprzedni | następny > 06.12.2021

Market collusion? Give a signal! - the campaign launched by the President of UOKiK
  • The campaign "Market Collusion? Give us a Signal!" is being launched today, on the occasion of World Competition Day, to raise the awareness of competition law violations and encourage company employees to prevent them.
  • Do you suspect that your company is involved in illegal price-fixing, bid-rigging or market-sharing practices? Do you have evidence for that? Notify the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection of such violations under the Whistleblower programme.
  • We are waiting for your questions and notifications. You can contact the Office in many ways: through an anonymous platform, through a specially established hotline, via ePuap, by email or by letter.

You work in a sales department with several other people, you follow your manager's orders, you have no real influence on the company's decisions, but you have the impression that it violates antitrust law? You are aware of the fact that your bosses set minimum prices with competitors or manufacturers or that the company only provides services to customers from a specific region and refers others to another distributor? Do you have access to emails or other evidence that might support this? The latest social campaign launched by the President of UOKiK promoting, among other things, the Whistleblower programme, is addressed to such persons.

'On the occasion of World Competition Day, we are launching a campaign "Market Collusion? Give us a signal!" in social media, which is mainly addressed to former and current employees of large and medium enterprises operating e.g. in the construction, transport, automotive, and IT industries. We want to make them aware of practices that they may encounter in their work and that are prohibited because they violate fair competition rules. The campaign also aims to encourage people to report prohibited agreements to the Office. This can be done anonymously. Thanks to your notifications, which will allow us to detect and put an end to market collusion, you can help honest entrepreneurs and consumers. They will gain free access to products and will be able to freely choose the most advantageous offer,' says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

The campaign "Market Collusion? Give us a signal!" will be conducted until 20 December. Banners, graphics, and a short spot about how to report market collusion, bid-rigging or abuse of dominant position to the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection will appear, for instance, on industry-related websites, Facebook, and YouTube.

What is the Whistleblower programme?

The Whistleblower programme, through which the President of UOKiK receives anonymous signals regarding potential violations of competition law, has been in operation since April 2017. Initially, whistleblowers were able to contact the Office by email and via a hotline. Since December 2019, they can provide information using a special online platform available at  konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl. It makes it easier for people who report anti-competitive practices at their current or former employers to organise the information they provide, and it shows what type of data is important to the President of the Office. You can attach evidence to your notification, such as emails or a meeting note.

'We especially value any information that is not available to the public and that employees or former employees of a company may have. It may include company internal information about arrangements made, calendar data about meetings held, correspondence, and other documents containing information indicative of anti-competitive arrangements. However, the mere information about how a cartel works or tips telling us where and what evidence of an infringement we should look for in an enterprise is very valuable. Information can be reported fully anonymously. The employees of the Office will not know the identity of the whistleblower either,' assures Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

The connection between the Office, the application and the whistleblower is encrypted and protected with a password. Metadata from attached files are automatically deleted. It is, therefore, impossible to identify the IP of the person reporting information.

From the start of the Whistleblower programme until the end of November 2021, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection received 5,875 notifications. As many as 414 notifications have already been sent this year. 'We would like to thank you for every information you provided. We carefully check all such information, and if anti-competitive practices used by an entrepreneur are confirmed, we take action within the scope of our competencies, including by carrying out inspections or searches. For market collusion, the entrepreneur faces a penalty of up to 10 per cent of annual turnover,' says Tomasz Chróstny, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

What violations can be reported?

We are particularly interested in information on illegal collusion - agreements between competitors, e.g. between a manufacturer and a manufacturer, as well as on vertical agreements, e.g. between a manufacturer and a seller. You can also report abuses of a dominant position to the Office.

Prohibited agreements may include:

  • price fixing,
  • determining production volumes,
  • market sharing: e.g. in terms of territories, subjects (according to specific customer groups) or products,
  • bid rigging.

How to contact the UOKiK?

You can contact the Office about possible competition law violations in several ways. Additionally, for the duration of the campaign "Market Collusion? Give a signal!", we have set up a special hotline.

  1. Fill out the online form anonymously at konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl to report market collusion or other anti-competitive practices or attach evidence if you have any.
  2. Call our hotline at 22 55 60 500. It is available from 6 to 20 December 2021, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can report anti-competitive practices, learn more about the Whistleblower programme, and obtain assistance in filling out the form on the website.
  3. Write to us, you can send:
  • an e-mail: dok@uokik.gov.pl
  • a letter to the following address: Departament Ochrony Konkurencji UOKiK, pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
  • via ePuap.

If you are a manager directly involved in an illegal arrangement, take advantage of our leniency programme and file a leniency application.

More information about anti-competitive practices and the Whistleblower programme is available at: konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: biuroprasowe@uokik.gov.pl
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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