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More efficient concentration procedures, concentrating on digital services - the GVH’s activity in 2017 in a nutshell -

The Economic Committee of the Hungarian Parliament has approved the annual report of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) on its activities in the year 2017 and on its experience with the application of the Competition Act.

The GVH paid special attention to the detection of unfair commercial practices related to the data-based economy and continued to primarily protect consumers who are particularly vulnerable when compared to the average consumer. Regarding commercial practices related to the digital economy, the GVH delivered three decisions of a guiding nature in 2017; furthermore, it published a guidance document that provides assistance for those who create social media content and publish posts on social media.

The rules relating to the control of concentrations significantly changed in the past year. The previous procedure, which was initiated via the submission of an application, has been replaced by a notification system. The thresholds have changed and the administration fee and handling time of transactions not requiring the initiation of a competition supervision procedure have been reduced. The main objective of the new system is to make the procedure related to concentrations which do not result in a substantive reduction of competition more cost-effective and shorter. The renewed regulation has already enabled the examination of thirty-three, non-complicated concentrations, each of which was handled within 5 days on average.

In 2017 the GVH continued to carry out comprehensive investigations on certain markets. It published its market analysis on the functioning of the motor vehicle distribution and repair markets and the related insurance market. The GVH recommended reducing the costs related to the entry into service of vehicles; furthermore, the reintroduction of campaign period on the third-party insurance market. A sectoral inquiry was launched on the market of accepting bank cards as the GVH noticed that smaller retailers that accept or wish to accept bankcards are faced with less favourable fees payable to payment service providers (primarily higher merchant fees) than larger traders.

The GVH also expanded its customer-friendly services. It enabled online access to files during the Competition Council (decision making body of the GVH) phase via its application called Virtual Data Room. As a result of this application requests for access to the file, copying and the disclosure of documents are simpler, faster, and more cost-effective.

The full report and its brief summary are available on the GVH’s website.

Budapest, 15 October 2018

Hungarian Competition Authority

 

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