Draft changes to competition law have been adopted by the Council of Ministers, according to UOKiK.

The draft changes are aimed at helping to eliminate anti-competitive practices and make merger control procedures more effective. They include:

  • merger control: introducing a two-stage merger control procedure, in which simple cases would be resolved within 30 days after notification (Phase I investigations) and cases that are more complex or raise doubts would be resolved within five months (Phase II investigations)
  • financial penalties for individuals: enabling UOKiK to impose financial penalties on individuals responsible for illegal conduct of the companies
  • leniency plus programme: enabling parties to prohibited agreements to have their fine reduced if they inform UOKiK about another, previously unknown, cartel
  • settlement procedure: enabling businesses who submit voluntarily to a penalty proposed by UOKiK to have their fine reduced by 10% if they do not appeal against the decision to the court
  • remedies: enabling UOKiK to include in the decision concluding the proceeding what actions the business should take to remedy the effects of its illegal conduct
  • consumer protection: enabling UOKiK to issue public warnings about the most serious cases currently under investigation where collective interests are being infringed and consumers may be exposed to serious financial losses.

The draft changes should now go before Parliament and, if they are approved, will come into force 6 months after the new legislation is published in the official Journal of Laws.