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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Contractual advantage

Contractual advantage occurs when there is a large disproportion in economic potential in the relationship between entrepreneurs operating in the agricultural products and foodstuffs industry. This applies both when the conditions are imposed by the buyer against the supplier and vice versa. Just having contractual advantage is not prohibited, but it is not allowed to use it. It may consist in particular in an unjustified termination of an agreement or a threat of its termination or of giving the right to terminate or withdraw from it only to one party to the agreement. In addition, the dominant entity makes the conclusion or continuation of the agreement subject to the other party’s performance of a service unrelated to the subject of the agreement. Finally, the advantage may manifest itself in an unjustified extension of payment terms for the delivered products.

UOKiK conducts proceedings on practices of unfair use of the contractual advantage only to protect the public interest, i.e. is to eliminate unfair commercial practices from business transactions, and not to compensate specific, injured entrepreneurs.

The Office may intervene:

  • on the basis of a written notification from an entity that has knowledge of the practice of a dishonest use of contractual advantage – these are, for example, individual notifications, applications from industry organisations, signals from other authorities,
  • based on own information or media reports.

UOKiK may consider a given practice to unfairly use the contractual advantage, order its abandonment and impose a financial penalty of up to 3 pct of the turnover generated by the company in the year preceding the decision. The proceedings may also end without financial sanctions. The Office will waive the penalty if the company undertakes to cease illegal practices or to remedy their effects.


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