In order to meet the expectations of the market and to fully implement the elementary rules of administrative procedure, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“UOKiK”) has provided a number of facilities for entrepreneurs who are or will be a party to proceedings before the President of UOKiK in the scope of communication with the Office.
Thanks to this, an entrepreneur participating in investigations in matters regarding practices limiting the competition or concentrations will be able to obtain all factual information from the office on an ongoing basis. Communications in this scope are also possible prior to the commencement of respective proceedings (e.g. proceedings on the control of concentrations), so the entrepreneur may make sure what his rights and obligations resulting from the law are.
As was indicated by the UOKiK itself in the presented explanations, e-mail or phone contact may serve, for example, the purpose of:
- explaining any doubts as to the scope of information and documents delivered to the office;
- indicating the effects of commencing investigations or antitrust proceedings;
- explaining any legal doubts as to the provisions regarding notification of a proposed concentration by entrepreneurs;
- specifying the state of the proceedings and expected closing date;
- specifying conditions and procedure regarding extending the term for providing explanations;
- indicating the effects of commencing investigations, antitrust proceedings or proceedings regarding infringement of collective interests of consumers.
Obtaining the aforementioned information by phone does not mean that we will be unable to obtain it in writing. The content of phone arrangements will be confirmed by UOKiK by means of an e-mail, fax or through an official letter.
This approach in the office’s operation is also manifested in the possibility of direct contact with UOKiK. The meeting may serve, for example, the purpose of a preliminary assessment of whether a notice on commencing given proceedings is justified or determining potentially dubious matters in the procedures. In justified cases, such meeting may take the form of a video conference.
As is shown in practice, the quality of communications with UOKiK is most of the time very decent. This manner of operation and the office’s policy ensures the proceedings themselves will be conducted fairly and fully in compliance with requirements set by the Code of Administrative Procedure, and will therefore contribute to building public confidence in the State. And for this reason it should be applauded.