Practical Aspects of Protection of Collective Consumer Interests – Overview of Measures Applied by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
Marek Niechciał, President, Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Poland
In Poland, protection of consumer interests and protection of competition has been entrusted to one institution, the one I am in charge of. The Polish Antimonopoly Office was established in 1990. Since the very beginning, when performing its activities it took into account the impact of monopolies on consumer welfare. Courts also identified the connection between protection of competition and safeguarding interests of consumers. In a 1991 judgment, the Supreme Court indicated that competition assessment of a market practice should be preceded with an analysis of the broader context, in particular, of its impact on consumers. However, it was not until 1996 when the Antimonopoly Office was transformed into the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, that protection of consumers’ interests was written into its mission as an indispensable element of the competitive order in the economy.
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