Partner sites
OECD
The President of the Republic appointed the leadership of the GVH

The President of the Republic, János Áder, appointed the current president of the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority), Miklós Juhász, to be the president of the Authority effective 2 November 2016. The two vice presidents of the GVH for the next six years shall be László Bak and András Tóth. András Tóth will again fulfil the duties of the president of the Competition Council as well.

The top leaders of the GVH appointed today wish to continue their work which they began in the spirit of transparent and predictable law-enforcement, and the enhancement of the of the Authority’s client-friendly nature, within which

  • the GVH regards as a main priority the fast and efficient conclusion of merger authorisation proceedings, in order to lessen the risks associated with transactions. While in 2010 the average time it took to conclude a phase one merger was 103 days, this was reduced to only 19 days in 2015. In more complicated cases, the time taken to conclude proceedings has reduced to less than a third of the average time taken in 2010, which was 186 days;

  • pre-notification contact in merger cases and a sanction in the form of a warning for an SME committing an infringement for the first time, have been introduced;

  • when determining the amount of the fine to be imposed in a particular case, the GVH now has the possibility to consider, as a mitigating factor, the effort made by the undertaking in question to comply with competition law;

  • since 2010, the GVH has published a total of 40 notices, guidelines and handouts, and has also published a Commentary on the Competition Act;

  • in recent years, a number of IT developments have been implemented, the most recent of which allows parties to easily book appointments online for access to the file.

The main tasks of the GVH, among others, for the next period will be to

  • facilitate the law-abiding behaviour of market operators by carrying out its activities in a transparent and predictable manner;

  • ensure that in the majority of cases access to the file is available remotely via a secure data connection, without the physical presence of the concerned parties;

  • introduce the possibility of electronic administration applied in the procedures.

The GVH still regards as a priority to

  • develop merger procedures and to conclude proceedings within a shorter period of time (with this in mind, the GVH has also drafted proposals on changes to the Competition Act);

  • facilitate the orientation of market operators by publishing notices and the decisions and position statements of the Competition Council;

The future focus of the GVH’s consumer policy will be on advertising in the online space and on social media, as well as on more actively analysing communication practices related to new technologies; furthermore, it will focus on unfair commercial practices having a detrimental effect on the process of competition. As regards to private enforcement, the GVH will seek to encourage undertakings to provide active reparation to injured parties in the course of its competition supervision proceedings in order to avoid costly and lengthy litigation.

The GVH is headed by a President, who is assisted by two vice presidents. One of the vice presidents is responsible for General Affairs and one is entrusted with the responsibilities of the Chair of the Competition Council. The three leaders are appointed for a period of six years.

Miklós JUHÁSZ was employed by the Pest Central District Court as a judge between 1976-1985, and he also served as the Acting Vice President at the XVIII-XIXth District Court for two years. He later acted as a legal counsellor of a Hungarian-German Joint Venture Company. From 1990 he worked as an attorney, before opening his own law firm in 2001. In 2010 he was appointed as the president of the Hungarian Competition Authority.

András TÓTH worked for the GVH between 2002-2007, before joining a leading American law firm in 2007 as an attorney. As a Vice President of the GVH and the Chair of the Competition Council he was appointed for the first time in 2010. Since 2010 he has also held lectures as an assistant professor at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church.

László Bak obtained his law degree in 2004 from the Péter Pázmány Catholic University. In 2009 László obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in German law from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and also gained a PG Diploma in EU Competition law from King’s College London in 2014. He was admitted to the Budapest Bar and subsequently worked as a self-employed lawyer. He joined the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal in November 2010 and became chief of staff. In the past six years he has gained experience in several departments of the GVH and has held a number of positions, initially holding the position of chief of staff before becoming head of litigation in 2014. Since March 2015 he has been responsible for leading the Legal Section of the GVH.

 

 

Budapest, 24 October 2016

Hungarian Competition Authority

Information for the press:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: basa.andrea@gvh.hu , press@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

Further information:
GVH Costumer Service
tel: (+36-1) 472-8851
e-mail:
http://www.gvh.hu

 

 

Printable version in PDF
The GVH impels small and medium sized enterprises towards law-abiding behaviour by issuing warnings for the first time

The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) made decisions in two cases, one related to a medicine and one concerning the advertisement of a food supplement. In these two cases the GVH warned, for the first time, the small and medium sized enterprises involved in the proceedings.

According to a recent amendment of the Competition Act, the GVH may issue warnings to steer small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – which constitute the backbone of the Hungarian economy – in the direction of compliance with competition law. This sanction may only be used when an SME commits an infringement for the first time, and only if the infringement has not been committed in a public procurement cartel, in violation of European Union law or at the expense of vulnerable consumers.

In one of the concerned cases, the case of Aramis Pharma Kft., the GVH established that the undertaking had unlawfully advertised its Fluimucil product family as the non-prescription medicines were not presented based on the Summary of Product Characteristics.

In its second decision, which involved Kőrös-Net Szolgáltató és Kereskedő Kft., the GVH also established that the undertaking had committed an infringement by making unsubstantiated claims and claims not in line with the provisions of advertising set in the sectoral rules in relation to its distributed food products.

Within the framework of the warning, the GVH also obliged each undertaking to adopt a competition law compliance mechanism which is able to prevent infringements in the future (compliance programme). Each undertaking shall record the compliance programme in its internal procedures, and shall ensure that its future advertisements are checked before their publication by an internal colleague who has the adequate competence and an external independent expert (for example a lawyer or law firm, a consultancy firm or an independent non-governmental organisation possessing the necessary expertise) to ensure that its campaign is in line with the provisions of fair trade practices.

The warned undertakings shall report to the Competition Authority on the implementation of their compliance programmes. In the event of not doing so, the GVH shall immediately initiate enforcement, and may also impose an enforcement fine.

Case numbers:

  • Vj/97/2015 – Aramis Pharma Kft.
  • Vj/130/2015 – Kőrös-Net Szolgáltató és Kereskedő Kft.

Budapest, 29 September 2016

Hungarian Competition Authority

Further information for press:
dr. Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: ;
press@ gvh.hu

http://www.gvh.hu

Further information::
Customer Service, GVH
Tel: +36 1 4728851
Email: ugyfelszolgalat@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

Printable version in PDF


GVH: faster and more efficient merger control, Cartel Chat for the fight against cartels

In the name of the Parliament, the Economic Committee approved the Annual Report of the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH – the Hungarian Competition Authority) on its activity in the year 2015 and on its experience with the application of the Competition Act.

In 2015 the fast and efficient conclusion of merger authorisation proceedings was still regarded by the GVH as a main priority, despite the fact that the number of such proceedings has been significantly increasing since the passing of the economic crisis. In the committee meeting the president of the GVH, dr. Miklós Juhász, confirmed that last year the GVH delivered decisions in all merger cases in a shorter period of time than that provided for in the Competition Act, thereby eliminating as quickly as possible the uncertainty stemming from the proceedings of the Authority.

In addition, Miklós Juhász stated that it is an explicit intention of the GVH to continually enhance the user-friendly nature of its activity. The GVH assists market actors to behave in a way that is compatible with the Competition Act by publishing user-friendly guidelines, handouts and notices on the Act's requirements. With this in mind, the GVH has published a Commentary on the Competition Act. As a further step in its user-friendly approach, the GVH has also modified its webpage to enable parties to easily book appointments online for access to the file.

One of the most important activities of the GVH, which is responsible for competition supervision, competition advocacy and the development of competition culture, is still its activity concerning the fight against cartels. The newest tool in this fight is the Cartel Chat, which was introduced last year. This is an anonymous contact system for providing information and asking questions about cartels.

More than two-thirds of the cartel cases that were investigated by the GVH between 2002 and 2013 involved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Consequently, the GVH sought to increase the SMEs’ competition awareness through its campaign against cartels entitled ‘It cannot be kept secret’, which was launched on the 1st of December last year.

The President confirmed that the protection of vulnerable consumers who are easily influenced by advertisements and offers due to their health age or difficult financial situation was an essential part of the GVH’s consumer protection activity in 2015 too. On the basis of the complaints and market notices that were addressed to the GVH, it ran an information campaign, entitled ‘Think Through Calmly’ which concerned 6 issues. The GVH has also drafted suggestions to solve the problems that arose in connection with product presentations.

The GVH celebrated two anniversaries last year:

  1. 25 years ago, the GVH began to operate in January 1991, on the basis of the Competition Act passed in 1990;

  1. The OECD-GVH Regional Centre for Competition in Budapest (RCC) was set up 10 years ago, in 2005. Relying on the Competition Department of the OECD and on the professional expertise of the GVH, the RCC provides capacity building assistance through seminars and professional training programmes on competition law and policy for competition enforcement agencies in the Central, East and South-East European region.

The annual report (in Hungarian) is available on the website of the GVH.

Budapest, 20 September 2016

Hungarian Competition Authority

 

Further information for press:
dr. Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: ;
press@ gvh.hu

http://www.gvh.hu

Further information::
Customer Service, GVH
Tel: +36 1 4728851
Email: ugyfelszolgalat@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

Printable version in PDF


 

The GVH imposed fines for coordination of bids in tenders of hospitals

In its decision the Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (Hungarian Competition Authority) established that, in order to influence the tender notice, share the market and fix prices, B. Braun Medical Magyarország Orvostechnológiai Kft., CHIRMAX HUNGARY Kereskedelmi Kft., Johnson & Johnson Egészségügyi és Babaápolási Termékeket Gyártó és Forgalmazó Kft., SurgiCare Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. and VARIOMEDIC Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft. had coordinated their bids concerning four public procurement projects of hospitals. A total fine of 270 million HUF (approx. 843.800 EUR) was imposed on the undertakings for the infringement.

In the so-called “surgical catgut case” the GVH investigated tenders which were published by hospitals between 2011-2014 for procuring surgical sutures and surgical equipment. These products are medical devices which are used in hospitals for operations. The buyers of the undertakings under investigation distribute medical products and medical devices and their activities give them a combined decisive share of the domestic surgical sutures and surgical gown sewing machine market.

The case was initiated based on the leniency application of Johnson & Johnson Kft. in 2013. During its proceeding the GVH extended its investigation several times and all in all more than 30 public procurement actions were analysed to ascertain whether the bidders had coordinated their bids for supplying surgical products for tenders. The GVH found violations in the following four public procurement procedures:

  • planned procurement of surgical sutures for Zala County Hospital for 2011;

  • procurement of surgical sutures for Semmelweis University for 2012;

  • procurement of surgical sutures for the University of Pécs for 2012 and

  • procurement of surgical sutures for Petz Aladár County Educational Hospital for 2012.

The GVH imposed the following fines:

 

HUF

EUR (approx.)

B. Braun Medical Magyarország Orvostechnológiai Kft

100,973,619

315,540

CHIRMAX HUNGARY Kereskedelmi Kft

14,303,520

44,700

SurgiCare Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft

46,570,100

145,530

VARIOMEDIC Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft

106,481,060

332,750

Johnson & Johnson Kft. received full immunity from the imposition of a fine, thereby avoiding a fine of more than 115 million HUF (approx. 360 thousands EUR), due to the fact that the GVH became aware of the infringement through the leniency application of Johnson & Johnson Kft. In addition to Johnson & Johnson Kft, CHIRMAX HUNGARY Kft., and B. Braun Medical Hungary Medical Technology Co.Ltd. submitted leniency applications, and having regard to their active participation in enabling the cartel to be discovered, they received a 30 percent and a 20 percent reduction in their fines respectively.

In bid-rigging cases, the submission of a leniency application may be of significant importance as cooperation with the GVH not only affects the amount of the fine imposed in the competition supervision proceeding, but it may also put the employees of the undertaking that has submitted a leniency application in a significantly favourable situation in a potentially initiated criminal procedure.

When determining the fine, the GVH took into account as aggravating factors that bid-rigging amounts to one of the most serious competition law infringements and the fact that the undertakings are collectively significant market participants that must have been aware of the unlawfulness of their behaviour. The fine imposed on Surgicare Kft. was further increased because the role it played as the organiser in the cartel was established in connection with more infringements.

Case number: Vj/79/2013

Budapest, 5 August 2016

Hungarian Competition Authority

Further information for press:
dr. Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: ;
press@ gvh.hu

http://www.gvh.hu

Further information::
Customer Service, GVH
Tel: +36 1 4728851
Email: ugyfelszolgalat@gvh.hu
http://www.gvh.hu

 

Printable version in PDF

The GVH authorised the buyout of Pannon Lapok

After the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) granted its administrative consent, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) authorised Mediaworks Hungary Zrt. to acquire direct and sole control over Pannon Lapok Társasága Kiadói Kft.

On 4 July 2016 Mediaworks Hungary Zrt. submitted its application to the GVH for the authorisation of acquisition of its direct and sole control over Pannon Lapok Társasága Kiadói Kft.

Both groups of undertakings affected by the concentration are active in the publishing of printed and online press, the sale of advertising space, the distribution of printed media products, and also provide services related to coldset printing.

The investigation found that although both groups of undertakings are active in the publishing of county newspapers, they pursue their respective activities in different geographic markets; therefore there is no such territory in terms of the market of readers where their activities would overlap. When assessing the horizontal effects of the concentration, the GVH found that the two groups of undertakings provide advertising services relating to regional (county) newspapers in different territories and that the single county newspapers supplement, rather than substitute each other in terms of the different regional and local advertising target groups.

The possibility of detrimental horizontal effects only arose concerning the printing of newspapers using coldset technology (a process applied for the printing of newspapers and flyers) due to the market share of the groups of undertakings taken together. However, according to the resolution of the GVH the above-mentioned possible adverse horizontal effect on competition may be excluded after the authorisation of the transaction because 

  • there is significant spare capacity on the market and it can be expected that the demand on the market will continue to decline;

  • there are several significant competitors left in the market, therefore a switch to another service provider will not be greatly hindered;

  • those who purchase the services in question have buyer power;

  • the groups of undertakings are not close competitors;

  • foreign printing houses may be able to exert competitive pressure on the market;

  • the market players consulted did not raise substantive concerns in relation to the concentration.

The GVH also did not identify any detrimental or portfolio effects, considering that the concentration does not create a new vertical relationship and does not result in such an extension of the activities that would lead to detrimental portfolio effects.

Taking into consideration all these factors the GVH authorised the transaction.

Case number: Vj/58/2016.

Budapest, 3 August 2016

Hungarian Competition Authority

Further information:
Andrea BASA
Spokesperson
Alkotmány u. 5., H-1054 Budapest,
Tel: +36 1 4728902
Mobile: +36 30 6186618
Email: ,
http://www.gvh.hu

Printable version in PDF

More

More

Frequent searches

Videók

More videos