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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK activities in 2022

< previous | next > 07.03.2023

UOKiK activities in 2022
  • Over 950 decisions concerning protection of competition and consumers, nearly PLN 430 million in fines imposed.
  • Almost 20 thousand verifications of quality and safety of toys, clothes and products for daily use.
  • We would like to present the summary of UOKiK activities in 2022.

The previous year was a time of painstaking work for consumers and honest entrepreneurs, marked by post-pandemic difficulties and, most of all, the war in Ukraine. We stood up to challenges not only through monitoring the market and combatting dishonest practices, but also supporting the government in working out and notifying the aid schemes. In 2022 our online actions were clearly noticeable. We started a revolution in the scope of labelling commercial content on the Internet as well as organising content marketing on information portals. We challenged practice of e-commerce entrepreneurs, who unfortunately use knowledge about consumers’ behaviour to influence their purchasing decisions ever more frequently in an unfair way, including the so-called dark patterns. Two significant decisions concerning Allegro naturally fit into this context, showing that at our office we think about protecting both the competition and the consumers. In total, we issued nearly one thousand decisions and imposed penalties totalling nearly PLN 430 million – said Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.


Competition-restricting practices

In 2022, the President of UOKiK initiated 35 explanatory and anti-monopoly proceedings concerning competition-restricting practices. Furthermore, the office issued 52 soft notices to businesses. These consist in requiring the entrepreneur to provide explanation, voluntarily change or eliminate unfair practices.

In 2022, the President of the Competition Authority issued 8 decisions on anti-competitive practices, of which 7 concerned prohibited agreements and one concerned abuse of a dominant position. The total amount of fines imposed exceeded PLN 241 million. In two cases, sanctions were reduced due to the leniency programme. In 2022, entrepreneurs submitted 3 applications for inclusion in that scheme. While collecting evidence confirming the existence of anti-monopoly practices, the Office nine times exercised the possibility of searching the premises of companies, verifying 30 entrepreneurs. Compared to the preceding year, the number of signals reported as part of the whistleblower scheme more than quadrupled. We received 2396 signals in the previous year, while there were 547 of them a year before.

The highest penalty for anti-competitive practices in 2022 was imposed on the Allegro company and amounted to over PLN 206 million. The economic operator was unlawfully abusing its market position by favouring its own online store at the expense of its competitors operating on the platform.

The second highest penalty was imposed on the Karcher company and amounted to PLN 26 million. The evidence gathered shows that since the end of the 1990s the entrepreneur, in consultation with its distributors, has set minimum and rigid retail prices for Kärcher cleaning devices and systems. The penalty would have been far higher if the company had not benefited from the leniency scheme.

Another important decision concerned tender collusion among seven waste collectors. The consortium established by the companies was intended to curb competition in public orders organised by the association of municipalities of the Poznań agglomeration. The total amount of cash penalties exceeded PLN 7 million in this case.

Among soft measures, an intervention in the passenger car market deserves particular attention. The President of UOKiK checked the practices of importers of 14 largest brands as part of market investigation. The outcome of this intervention is that guarantee repairs are no longer dependent on servicing vehicles exclusively at authorised repairers. Importers of Ford, Nissan, Citroen, DS and Peugeot have changed their practices in this regard.

Contractual advantage

In 2022 the President of UOKiK issued 3 decisions concerning the unfair use of contractual advantage in the trade in agricultural and food products. The Office instigated 17 investigations and 4 main proceedings. Furthermore, it issued 14 soft notices to businesses.

The penalties for misuse of superior bargaining power totalled nearly PLN 71 million. The decision imposing the highest penalty concerned a prohibited deprivation of assistance assigned for losses incurred by pig farmers from ASF zones. Such was the practice of the Agri Plus company belonging to the Animex capital group. The conducted proceedings indicated that actions of the entrepreneur constituted an unfair abuse of contractual advantage. UOKiK imposed a fine of over PLN 68 million on the company.

Important decisions also concerned the grain market. The President of UOKiK imposed a penalty amounting to over PLN 2 million the Cefetra Polska company. The enterprise required all contracted supplies from farmers, even when circumstances beyond their control, such as draught or another instance of force majeure, occurred, thus preventing farmers from performing deliveries. Similar practices were applied by Polish Agri, on which a penalty exceeding PLN 300 thousand was imposed.

Apart from the decisions issued, a report concerning sales-related fees charged by retail chains to suppliers for services performed for their benefit, also deserves attention. It indicates, among other things, which practices of large networks may breach the regulations. Already during the course of the investigation, first proceedings were initiated concerning the practices of owners of such stores as Auchan, Carrefour, Dino, Selgros and Żabka, suspected of using fees to act to the disadvantage of their smaller counterparties.

Control of concentration and investments

Competition protection means also control of concentrations. The year 2022 was a record one for UOKiK in terms of cases concerning mergers and takeovers. The President of UOKiK issued 327 decisions in which he approved concentration, whereas one of these decisions was a conditional approval.

In one case, the President of UOKiK also issued qualifications concerning the concentration, indicating that it may lead to significantly limiting competition on the domestic rolled rail sales market. In consequence, ArcelorMittal and Moris withdrew their notification.

The President of the Office instituted 342 investigations to examine whether mergers and takeovers would adversely affect competition.

Furthermore, the President of the Office instigated 3 proceedings in the scope of controlling investments and issued one decision showing the lack of objection to the planned transaction.

Payment gridlocks

In the previous year, the Office conducted 88 proceedings dealing with payment gridlocks. 33 decisions concerning excessive delays in the settlement of financial obligations were issued. Penalties of nearly PLN 11 million, i.e. by PLN 9.5 million more than in 2021, were imposed on businesses causing gridlocks.

The highest fine of over PLN 4 million was imposed on Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna. The second highest penalty was also imposed on an enterprise from the pharmaceutical industry - the Neuca company and amounted to PLN 3 million. Other penalised entities included, among others, Zakłady Drobiarskie Farmio (a penalty of over PLN 730 thousand), Bewa (a penalty of over 567 thousand) and Reckitt Benckiser Production (nearly PLN 555 thousand).

The previous year also brought about the amendment of regulations on payment gridlocks. The President of the Office obtained the powers to address to entrepreneurs the so-called soft calls, without the need to initiate administrative proceedings. The legislator also decided to change the formula that will form the basis for calculating cash fines. At the same time, the amendment introduces the institution of the so-called “fine modulation”, consisting in taking account of both mitigating circumstances (resulting in a reduction of the penalty) and aggravating circumstances (on the basis of which the penalty will be strengthened).

State aid

State aid results in the state’s interference with free market mechanisms. Hence, its use is restricted. UOKiK performs a preliminary assessment of individual support and aid schemes, evaluating their compliance with EU legislation, and monitors state aid, i.e. assistance granted to entrepreneurs in Poland. In 2022 the Office issued opinions on 39 aid scheme and individual aid projects (including for debt restructuring). UOKiK received 462 requests for interpretation and 603 draft government documents for analysis in terms of the possible presence of state aid. Moreover, the Office received 952 projects concerning de minimis schemes, which the Office evaluated in terms of transparency of aid granting rules.

In 2022 UOKiK notified to the European Commission 29 projects providing for granting state aid, including 24 aid schemes and 5 individual aid schemes (including for debt restructuring). The European Commission accepted 21 aid projects.


Protection of collective consumer interests and abusive contractual clauses

The President of UOKiK initiated 97 proceedings related to practices that violate collective consumer interests and concerning declaring the provisions of a model contract to be unlawful, as well as 203 investigations. He issued 58 decisions on the basis of which he imposed the total of PLN 102 million of cash penalties. Moreover, a provisional decision was issued for the first time. This mechanism is applied in extraordinary situations. It allows a rapid reaction to practices posing a threat to collective consumer interests, if it turns out that their effects may be serious and difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. The President of the Office issued this decision with regard to Obligacje Społeczne company, whose offer had nothing to do with bonds and consisted in consumers granting loans to that company.

The Office also undertook soft measures: it addressed entrepreneurs 363 times as regards consumer protection. In addition, 251 times a reasoned opinion was issued regarding people fighting for their rights in court.

In 2022, the highest penalty for violating collective consumer interests amounted to over PLN 28 million. That penalty was imposed on BO Energy (formerly FG Energy), which sells and assembles photovoltaic installations, for concluding agreements away from the business premises. The challenged practices include, among others, making it difficult for consumers to withdraw from their contract free of charge, misleading them as regards the cooperation with the Ministry of Climate and free-of-charge audit.

The President of UOKiK has repeatedly indicated that significant terms and conditions of an ongoing agreement concluded for an indefinite time may be amended only if the agreement expressly so provides. It was emphasised numerous times in the decisions issued with respect to entrepreneurs from the telecommunications industry. In 2022, Vectra received a penalty of over PLN 22 million for unilateral amendments of such agreements without a legal basis, consisting in increasing subscription fees. UPC Polska received a penalty of PLN 12.5 million for excessive costs of terminating an agreement for a definite period. Clients who wanted to opt out of the company’s services early had to pay more than they would if they continued being bound by the agreement. The President of UOKiK, ordered UPC Polska to terminate such practice and reimburse consumers for wrongfully collected fees.

The President of UOKiK also challenged incorrectly introduced changes to contracts in the financial, insurance, e-payments or e-commerce industry. He instigated explanatory investigations into the indexation clauses introduced by mobile operators in contracts concluded for definite time as well as market investigation in the development industry in this regard.

Actions of the Office with regard to insurers offering individual life insurance with a capital fund, who applied prohibited contract terms aimed at discouraging customers from terminating contracts during the first years after their conclusion. Decisions concerned such companies as MetLife, penalised with the amount of PLN 5.2 million, and UNIQA (formerly AXA Życie TU S.A.), which received a penalty of over PLN 10 million.

What also drew attention of the President of UOKiK in the previous year was a rapidly developing social media market and the need to ensure that it applies transparent rules and its users are not misled. Recommendations of the President of UOKiK pertaining to the tagging of advertising content by influencers on social media were issued in September. Their aim is to assist internet authors in interpreting the existing law. The document describes not only the key definitions, applicable legal regulations and consequences that may suffered in connection with surreptitious advertising, but also provides specific examples of advertising tags that should be used on social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and others). It also offers practical guidelines that need to be followed in connection with all forms of ads. Six influencers were fined for the lack of cooperation with the Office (the penalties amounted to nearly PLN 140 thousand), whereby three Internet authors from the fitness sector, together with their advertiser, received charges for a wrongful tagging of advertisements. The President of the Office monitors the market and undertakes actions that are adequate towards the potential infringements on an ongoing basis.

The next step was to verify how content published on websites was tagged. The Office analysed whether commercial messages were appropriately tagged so that consumers had no doubt that they were dealing with an advertisement. Two websites received charges, while explanatory investigations concerned several others.

The Office also analyses practices of e-commerce entrepreneurs, who unfortunately use knowledge about consumers’ online behaviour to influence their purchasing decisions in an unfair way ever more frequently. Such practices are called dark patterns. They can include, inter alia, exposing options more favourable for traders in the website architecture (e.g. paid services, consents for certain activities) and hiding those that the consumer would likely choose if presented in the same way. The Office imposed a penalty of Vinted in the amount of over PLN 5.3 million, while OLX received charges. Allegro - for unlawfully granting itself a right to amend its rules and regulations, including those concerning the Smart service - received a penalty of nearly PLN 4 million. UOKiK also analysed practices of companies that can offer mass fabrication of false opinions even without coming into contact with an evaluated product or services. The principles of cooperation as part of, among others, the so-called word-of-mouth marketing or a service consisting in “guaranteeing original, reliable opinions” were also scrutinised. The information and evidence collected allowed imposing a penalty on three companies:, SN Marketing and Agencja City Damian Trzciński, for misleading consumers. The sanctions totalled PLN 110 thousand.


Furthermore, for more than half a year, consumers have been entitled to take advantage of loan repayment holiday. Since the time when the regulations were introduced as part of the investigations, the President of UOKiK has monitored the ways in which banks inform about and implement them. Consumers complained, among others, that banks had obstructed their requests for repayment holiday with the use of one form to cover all 8 periods provided for in the laws. The majority of the banks have opted out of this procedure as soon as they have been called by President of UOKIK to do so. Those which have failed to follow have had charges pressed by President of the Office for violating the collective interests of consumers, as a result of which BNP Paribas and Bank Pocztowy were fined in the amount of nearly PLN 3 million.

The President of UOKiK also pressed charges against nine banks in relation to unauthorised transactions. The charges followed the analysis of consumer complaints and the banks’ reactions and responses to reports of theft of money from consumers’ accounts. 


The Trade Inspection Authority

The President of UOKiK strives to ensure product safety in Poland also by means of the Trade Inspection Authority. The Office plans, coordinates and monitors the inspections carried out by Trade Inspection Authority Provincial Inspectorates (WIIH) and analyses their results. In 2022 the Trade Inspection Authority carried out the total of 19.7 thousand audits in terms of general security of products, assessment of products’ compliance with the requirements and other audits concerning non-food products and services (including the information obligations of entrepreneurs). The #CyklOdzieżowy [the Clothing Cycle] began - composition of textile products was verified in UOKiK accredited laboratories. Based on the audit results, the President of UOKiK instigated an explanatory investigation aimed at establishing whether declarations of two manufacturers of apparel were correct. What was also scrutinised was leather accessories and shoes – in terms of content of chemicals, cosmetics – their labelling, information about the composition and expiry date, jewellery – the content of nickel in products was verified. Safety of the youngest consumers was also taken care of – the audits covered, among others, baths for toddlers and toys. Owing to the cooperation with the National Revenue Administration we managed to halt nearly 30 thousand hazardous toys already at border crossings.

UOKiK is also responsible for managing the Fuel Quality Monitoring System. As regards fuels (petrol, diesel fuel, LPG), in 2022 the Trade Inspection Authority carried out the total of over 1700 inspections and (prior to the suspension of qualitative requirements) over 300 solid fuel quality inspections.

Product safety and market surveillance

Consumer protection-related activities pertain to product safety as well. UOKiK analyses the results of Trade Inspection Authority inspections and warnings, in particular consumer complaints and notifications from supervisory authorities of other EU Member States as part of the RAPEX community system. Its main purpose is to ensure rapid communication on hazardous products. The system also contains data on actions taken by Member States or by economic operators themselves to exclude or restrict trade in dangerous products.

In 2022 the President of UOKiK initiated 129 cases related to general product safety, including 91 investigations and 38 administrative proceedings. In 2022 UOKiK received 277 voluntary notifications of hazardous products from undertakings.

Moreover, UOKiK initiated 222 cases concerning compliance of products with EU requirements, including 79 investigations and 143 administrative proceedings.

UOKiK referred 173 notifications that concerned over 1.6 million product items to the Safety Gate/RAPEX system. Most notifications concerned toys.



Laboratory studies serve the purpose of eliminating products that fail to meet the requirements or pose a threat to consumers from the market. In 2022 UOKiK’s laboratories investigated the total of over 2 thousand samples in conjunction with Trade Inspection Authority’s inspections, as part of which over 27 thousand parameters were marked.


The previous year was also marked by legislative work. In the late 2022 legal changes allowing more efficient prevention of payment gridlocks came into force. Moreover, UOKiK prepared changes in the consumer protection system that came into effect on 1 January 2023. Amendments were introduced to Polish law, including the Act on Consumer Rights, the Act on Counteracting Unfair Market Practices, the Act on Information on Prices of Goods and Services, the Civil Code. It all resulted from the implementation of the Omnibus Directive. In addition, regulations were introduced at the initiative of President of UOKiK in order to stop unfair practices on commercial shows. The aim of the amendments is first and foremost to adapt the regulations protecting consumers to the dynamically developing digital world. Thanks to the new regulations, it is easier to fight against phenomena that are detrimental to consumers, such as fictitious promotions, double quality of products in different countries, purchase of tickets for concerts by bots or false opinions on the Internet.

Being a governmental authority, the President of UOKiK was also involved in creating effective legal regulations. In 2022, the Office not only prepared draft legal acts, but also analysed over 2 thousand draft acts and ordinances and other governmental documents, with a view to issuing an opinion on the potential impact on competition and the situation of consumers.



Educating consumers and entrepreneurs plays a vital role in UOKiK’s actions as well. In 2022 a campaign titled “Losing data means losing money!” was launched. Through the campaign, the President of UOKiK warned of the threat of losing data and financial means and calls for increased consumer caution. Apart from public media, campaign spots were also to be seen or heard across the country: on television, radio, web portals and in social media as well as on outdoor advertising banners. The total of 190 entities became involved in UOKiK’s educational initiative through broadcasting spots free of charge.

UOKiK also prepared the “ABC of the Young Consumer” educational project, which introduced the youngest children to the basic concepts and principles of shopping in a friendly and accessible manner, through combining learning with fun. A programme for secondary school students, named “Youth with rights @ modern times”, aimed at promoting consumer rights on the Internet and raising awareness of issues related to cyber security and Internet fraud.

In cooperation with the ProPublica foundation, the Office also prepared a series of twelve educational webinars dealing with the most significant and topical consumer issues.

Since in 2022 the President of the Office devoted much time to various aspects of Internet activity, UOKiK could not miss the opportunity to be present in the social media – an Instagram profile was opened in April, where educational contents and current news concerning the Office’s work are posted. It is followed by over 24 thousand users. It is a channel through which recommendations for influencers, information about product safety and consumer educational contents are promoted in particular. UOKiK has also prepared a free-of-charge tool for Internet authors – an AR filter “Oznaczamreklamy” [“We tag ads”], which facilitates tagging commercial materials in an attractive and intelligible manner. UOKiK’s actions towards influencers have sparked numerous positive actions in the social media and encouraged Internet authors to take better care of transparency. Many of them improved tagging sponsored posts. Furthermore, the #Oznaczamreklamy campaign launched by the President of UOKiK was nominated in the Noizz Zmiany 2022 competition and won the Internet users’ Zmiana Roku [Change of the Year] award in the Online category (in 2023). UOKiK also develops its Twitter account, where it has already amassed 18 thousand users.

Consumer Support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 222 66 76 76 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer Ombudsmen – in your town or district
Financial Ombudsman – when a complaint has been rejected by a financial institution


Attached files


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