The Polish government is working on a new law on private competition actions. The act will introduce into Polish law provisions of the EU Damages Directive (2014/104/EU) which is aimed at facilitating the private enforcement of competition law by market players in the civil courts. Aggrieved parties will receive instruments that will help them pursue such claims, and violators (cartel members, parties to anti-competitive agreements, or entities that abuse a dominant position) will be forced to pay – apart from heavy fines imposed by the competition authority – high compensation to other market players.
The most important planned changes include:
- Making binding upon the court the final decision of the competition authority or the final resolution of the review court;
- Facilitating the acquisition of evidence held by violators or third parties;
- Access to certain evidence included in the file of the competition authority;
- Introducing a system of legal presumptions (e.g. presumption of guilt, presumption of a cartel causing damage) to improve the procedural situation for aggrieved parties;
- Making it easier to determine the amount of damages;
- Allowing the recovery of interest from the moment the damage occurred;
- Suspending the limitation period for claims for the duration of the competition authority’s proceedings;
- Joint and several liability of violators, with the exception of small and medium-sized businesses and leniency applicants who are exempt from fine.
Poland has time until 27 December 2016 to implement the Damages Directive and adopt the new law.
To help you get familiar with the new provisions we invite you to a conference where we will discuss the planned changes and their practical consequences. The meeting will take place on 8 November 2016 at 15:30 at the Business Centre Club in Warsaw. Participation is free, but please book places in advance.