Private Enforcement in Polish Competition Law
On June 27th, 2017 a new law on claims for compensation for damages caused by infringement of competition law came into force. From this day, any entrepreneur whose business has been breached by an unfair competitor may request compensation form that entity in court proceedings. This act allows for filling an action against entrepreneurs who violated the rules of competition law.
Presumption of guilt
According to the provisions of new law, an entrepreneur can independently fill a claim for compensation the damages from its competitor who has applied the malpractices, which affected the claimant. The position of victim of unfair practices is also strengthened by assuming the guilt of an entrepreneur against whom the Polish Authority on Markets and Consumers has issued a decision in which the malpractices have been confirmed. It means that the unfair competitor is the one who have to prove its innocence during the court trial.
Disclosure of evidences
The pursuit for compensation claim by an entrepreneur which interests were negatively affected by malpractices of competitor is also facilitated by a new institution of Polish law – the disclosure of evidence. If the claimant adequately demonstrates the suffered damage, and commits itself to confidentiality within the scope of the content of documents disclosed during the proceedings, the court may order the unfair competitor to disclose the evidences of an infringement (e.g. e-mail correspondence).
The limitation period for filling compensation claim upon the provisions of those newly introduces act is imitated to five years. This term is counted from the date of withdrawal form the unfair competition activities. In addition, it shall be noted that the new law applies only to claims for compensation the damages caused by infringement of competition law which has took place after the date of the entry into the force of new law, i.e. after the June 27th, 2017.
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