Competition and consumers
Competition law applies to all entrepreneurs, regardless of industry and scale of activity. The principles of competition law should be taken into consideration at the time of planning commercial policy. This law prohibits i.a. imposing resale prices of goods and services on counterparties, fixing prices and other conditions of agreements between competitors, bid rigging, market sharing, and imposes particularly strict limitations on market leaders, or dominants. Also activities aimed at market concentration are controlled. Such inspections and searches for evidence of practices restricting competition, carried out in the entrepreneur’s premises by Polish or EU authorities, drastically interfere with the activity and current operation of the enterprise.
- conducting legal audits of the company’s current activity and contracts concluded with counterparties and customers, with particular attention paid to the risks of infringement of the law;
- assessments of planned activities for compliance with competition law and consumer law;
- advising on the choice of distribution systems and commercial agreements;
- building relationships with counterparties, taking into account the entrepreneur’s market position;
- developing compliance programme (cohesion policy);
- examining whether a planned transaction is subject to notification to the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection;
- drawing up relevant applications and representing the entrepreneur during concentration-related proceedings conducted by the President of OCCP;
- representing the entrepreneur during inspections with searches in the case of antitrust proceedings taking place.
B2C relationships are subject to particularly close monitoring by inspection authorities. Items subject to continuous scrutiny include: agreement templates, rules and regulations of online shops, marketing techniques used: competitions, SMS lotteries, offers targeted at customers. Running business via the Internet requires, apart from standard regulations that apply to all enterprises, fulfilling a series of additional obligations. The lawmakers have noticed the e-commerce trend and try to keep pace with the changing reality. Regulations across the European Union are being standardised with a view to minimise the barriers in cross-border trade.
We provide assistance to B2C entrepreneurs in areas such as:
- identifying practices that may infringe collective interests of consumers;
- drawing up website rules and regulations in compliance with consumer law;
- elaborating rules and regulations of contests, promotions, marketing campaigns in a manner that does not put them at risk of sanctions of the President of OCCP;
- assessing whether an advertisement is misleading;
- drawing up agreements and internal procedures of processing customers’ personal data;
- training personnel in relations with consumers;
- representing the entrepreneur in proceeding before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, Arbitration Court of Internet Domains, Committee of Advertising Ethics.