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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Selling kia cars - proceedings of the President of The Office Of Competition And Consumer Protection on price fixing

< previous | next > 09.09.2022

Selling kia cars - proceedings of the President of The Office Of Competition And Consumer Protection on price fixing
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has pressed charges on market division and price fixing to KIA Polska company, 10 dealers of its vehicles and 6 managers.
  • Potential buyers of vehicles could have been deprived of the capacity to choose a seller and receive lower-priced quotations.

KIA Polska is the exclusive importer and organiser of a distribution system for KIA passenger cars. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has obtained evidence, among others, in the course of searching procedure that the company together with its car dealers could have concluded anti-competitive agreement. The entrepreneurs could have divided the market in the way that individual distributors were selling cars only to customers who lived or ran their business activities in a place located the nearest to their car showroom. In practice it might have been that when a potential customer from another region came to a dealer, they were referred to a competitive distributor. If the customer failed to inform where they had come from, they would be asked to visit the dealer located the nearest to their place of residence or to confirm that a given car showroom was the nearest one.

The material collected by UOKIK proves that dealers and KIA could have also fixed prices quoted to customers. In their correspondence with customers, KIA brand distributors were showing coherent, network-standardised nature of prices as well as top-down-defined discount groups in KIA Policy; they were additionally arguing that they had not been able to increase the discount.

The information held by the Competition Authority proves that KIA Polska could have kept watch on observing the arrangements pertaining to market and price division. These could have been performed by the dealers themselves, e.g. by way of informing the importer and one another of the price which was too low in their opinion or of a margin of another distributor.

- We are in possession of the evidence that at least since 2013 KIA cars could have been sold illegally. Potential customers might have been deprived of the capacity to freely choose a seller who would present them the best quotation. I have pressed charges both to entrepreneurs and managers who could have been directly responsible for the arrangements - says President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny.

The proceedings are carried out with regard to the following entrepreneurs: Kia Polska, AS Motors Classic from Warsaw, Autotechnika WoŒniak from Piła, Gam from Wrocław, Landcar from Starowa Góra, Marvel from ŁódŒ, Auto-Centrum I.M. Patecki from Cracow, Autocentrum Patecki from Cracow, Wadowscy from Cracow, Wrobud from Wrocław and Lee Motors from Komorniki. The charges have also been pressed for managers at AS Motors Classic, Landcar, Marvel, Wrobud and KIA Polska.

The entrepreneurs are at risk of facing a penalty of up to 10% of its annual turnover for antitrust practices. Managers may be fined with sanctions amounting to maximum PLN 2 million.

Severe sanctions can be avoided by taking advantage of the leniency scheme. It offers the enterprise involved in an illegal agreement and the managers responsible for the price fixing an opportunity to reduce a fine or, in some cases, avoid it altogether. Entrepreneurs and managers interested in the leniency scheme are encouraged to contact UOKiK. By calling 22 55 60 555, you will be able to talk to UOKiK lawyers, who will answer all of your questions, also anonymous ones, related to leniency applications.

We would also like to remind you that UOKiK runs a programme of acquiring information from anonymous whistleblowers. Visit https://konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl/sygnalista/ and fill out a simple form. The system we use guarantees full anonymity, which includes anonymity from UOKiK itself.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: 22 55 60 246
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL
You can also follow us on Instagram: @uokikgovpl

Attached files

 

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