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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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President of UOKiK imposes fines for obstructing inspection

< previous | next > 26.05.2021

President of UOKiK imposes fines for obstructing inspection
  • Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the UOKiK, issued two decisions imposing fines in the amount of PLN 500,000 on Platinium Wellness and in the amount of PLN 150,000 on the President of the Management Board of this company.
  • The fines were imposed for obstructing an inspection to prevent the collection of evidence in an ongoing investigation.

Combating restrictive agreements is in the interest of all consumers, honest entrepreneurs, and the Polish state. The regulations in place allow UOKiK staff – in certain cases and with the consent of a court – to carry out an unannounced inspection in the headquarters of entrepreneurs suspected of illegal arrangements, including the inspection of their electronic mails. Before the inspection, the entrepreneurs are informed of their rights and responsibilities. The legislator provides for a high fine in the case of the obstruction of the inspection activity, because it may constitute an attempt to hide evidence," says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of the UOKiK.

A fine for obstructing or rendering the inspection impossible may be imposed on an entrepreneur up to the equivalent of EUR 50 million and on a person holding a managerial position or being a member of the management body of such entrepreneur. In the latter case, the maximum fine may amount to fifty times the average salary.

The decisions of the President of the UOKiK concern the obstruction of the inspection carried out in the Platinium Wellness headquarters. During the inspection, the President of the Management Board of Platinium Wellness changed his email password on the company laptop and then refused to make the new one available. This interrupted data copying, as a result of which the inspectors lost access to some information that may have served as evidence of a restrictive agreement.

The fine imposed on Platinium Wellness amounted to PLN 500,000, which is the equivalent of EUR 108,225.11. In this case, the President of the Management Board of the company is also personally liable for obstructing the inspection; therefore, a separate fine was imposed on him. Pursuant to the decision, the President of the UOKiK imposed "(…) a fine in the amount of PLN 150,000.00 on Bartosz Konrad Gibała (…)”.

An inspection is an investigative tool used in the most serious cases of suspected distortions of competition. It allows evidence to be collected in cases in which other investigative means were ineffective. The entrepreneur and his/her employees are obliged to allow the inspectors to enter the buildings and premises as well as to make documents and data carriers available. It is important to mention that the activities of UOKiK staff are carried out with court approval.

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: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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