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The proceeding against the National Office for Translation and Attestation was terminated after the Office having offered some commitments. Following an intervention by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH), the Office undertook to speed up translations and to reduce urgency surcharges.

The GVH initiated a proceeding against the National Office for Translation and Attestation (Országos Fordító és Fordításhitelesítő Iroda Zrt., hereinafter OFFI) in September 2007 to examine whether the Office abused its dominant position when applying its price setting practices.

OFFI engaged in translation and consecutive interpretation services is authorised by law to have exclusivity in Hungary for making authenticated translations and attesting translations. However concerns have arisen concerning the deadlines applied by OFFI. The Office offers a 30 working day basic deadline for authenticated translations. They also provide the possibility of a shorter deadline to be used, but short-dealine customers are required to pay a surcharge of 25 to 300 per cent depending on the extent of urgency. The amount of the 15 day urgency surcharge also depends on the fact whether the customer qualifies as a natural person or not.

After the initiation of the proceeding, OFFI made certain commitments. It undertook to:

  • Modify the 30 day basic deadline for translations as follows:

    • In the case of shorter (up to 10 pages) translations and attestations, the basic deadline is modified from 30 days to 15 days.

    • Based on the above mentioned, urgency surcharge continue to be applied only for documents of more than 10 pages and it uniformly amounts to 25 per cent.

    • Based on the above mentioned, the pricelist is modified as follows: urgency surcharge is 25 per cent only in the case of documents that are longer than 10 pages.

  • Insert in its Code of Business the new deadlines and apply a uniform system of surcharges concerning public corporations and the general public.

  • Inform consumers about the new deadlines and the uniform surcharging system by price lists displayed and via the Internet.

The GVH accepted the commitments of OFFI and terminated the proceeding by an order without establishing the infringement. Pursuant to the Competition Act, where, in the course of competition supervision proceedings started ex officio, parties offer commitments to ensure, in a specified manner, compliance of their practices with the provisions of the Act or of Article 81 or 82 of the EC Treaty and if effective safeguarding of the public interest can be ensured in this manner, the competition council proceeding in the case may, by order, make those commitments binding on the parties, terminating at the same time the proceeding, without concluding in the order whether or not there has been or still is an infringement of the Act

Case number: Vj-141/2007.

Budapest, 25 September 2008

Hungarian Competition Authority
Communication Group

Further information:
András Mihálovits
Hungarian Competition Authority
Address: 1054 Budapest, V., Alkotmány u.5.
Postal address: 1245 Budapest, 5. POB. 1036
Tel: +36-30 618-6618