PKP Cargo has been fined PLN 1.7 million (€ 404,265) by UOKiK for a delay of more than four years in complying with an order to discontinue applying, without objective justification, onerous and dissimilar terms and conditions to equivalent transactions with its contractors.
UOKiK, Poland’s competition authority, ruled in December 2004 that PKP Cargo was abusing its dominant position by doing so. PKP Cargo, the Polish market leader for transporting goods by rail, was fined PLN 20 million (c.€ 4.8 million) and ordered to discontinue applying such terms and conditions.
PKP Cargo appealed unsuccessfully at every stage. In June 2007, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection ruled that the decision be immediately enforceable. Although PKP Cargo did not apply the terms and conditions to any new long-term contracts, it failed to amend its existing contracts, the last of which only expired at the end of 2011.
UOKiK imposed a fine of between €140-€500 per day for each of 1,570 days of delay during which the disputed contracts remained in force. The daily rate of fine varies according to the number of unexpired long-term contracts in existence on the relevant day.
As a rule, UOKiK can impose a fine of up to €10,000 per day for failure to implement its decisions. In 2011, it issued fines in only seven cases for delay in implementing its decisions.
The decision is not final and PKP Cargo may appeal against it to the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection.