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;
develop the competition-awareness of small and medium sized enterprises, and also the development of programmes supporting competition compliance and targeted communication. More details can be found on the following websites: http://gvh.hu/en/compliance/compliance_main, http://kartell.gvh.hu/ and http://gondoljavegighiggadtan.hu/ (the last two are only available in Hungarian).
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
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