Any person can submit a complaint or an informal complaint to the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) when he/she observes a behaviour which infringes the Competition Act, the Act on Trade or the Act on Business Advertising Activity and which falls within the competence of the GVH. This can be an important market indication, which supports the work of the authority and may result, subject to the decision of the GVH, in the initiation of a proceeding. The lodging of both complaints and informal complaints is free of charge. Upon request of the complainant or the person making an informal complaint the GVH does not identify him/her to the undertaking(s) concerned.
Because of the proceedings of the GVH are started ex officio, the complainant and the person making an informal complaint do not become parties, not even when the GVH initiates its proceeding based on the document which they submitted.
A complaint can be made by the use of the form published by the GVH. The complainant answers the obligatory questions in the form and submits it to the GVH. The form can be downloaded from the homepage of the GVH or it is receivable personally at the Inquiries of the GVH; upon request, it can also be send off by post.
The investigators of the GVH have up to 60 days to adjudge, if it is justified or not, in connection with the behaviour complained of, to initiate a competition supervision proceeding. (This deadline may be extended one time by 60 days where justified.) In practice, in most cases, the GVH makes its decision about the initiation of a proceeding in a shorter period of time. When no proceeding is initiated on the basis of the complaint, the complainant may turn to the Municipal Court of Budapest for legal remedy against the injunction stating this.
Please note that if a complaint is submitted in English it will be treated as an informal complaint.
The informal complaint
With the lodging of an informal complaint any person can send a signal to the authority without any formal constraint when he/she observes an infringement of the statutes mentioned above. The advantage of choosing this way of complaining is the simplicity, the lack of constraints as far as form and content are concerned. Hence, even handwritten notes or letters or e-mails can be used for making informal complaints. At the same time, however, also the assessment of informal complaints is carried out in a simpler procedure.
Informal complaints are to be assessed by the GVH within 30 days of the date of receipt of them. Where the assessment of an informal complaint is expected to take more than 30 days, the investigator must notify this fact to the person making the informal complaint, indicating at the same time the likely date for settlement. If the GVH does not initiate any competition supervision proceeding, the person making the informal complaint may not turn to the court for legal remedy.