On 27 May 2020, the Committee on Economics of the Parliament adopted a report on the Hungarian Competition Authority’s (GVH) activities and experiences related to the application of the Competition Act in 2019.
In 2019, the competition authority closed nearly 100 proceedings, in which it imposed fines totalling HUF 8.3 billion. Once again, in 2019 the GVH considered the initiation of action against restrictive practices to be its most important task: 41% of all fines (HUF 3.4 billion) were imposed in cartel cases. 59% of all fines (HUF 4.9 billion) were imposed by the Authority as a result of undue influence placed on consumers.
In 2019, the Authority continued to pay special attention to the identification and resolution of consumer protection issues related to the data-driven economy. In the digital world it is particularly important that consumers understand the business model on which a platform or application operates. The decision against Facebook has aroused great interest across Europe in this area. Based on its market analysis in the field of digital comparison tools and its sector inquiry concerning the promotion of credit card acceptance, the GVH has made important recommendations that can serve as guidance for market participants. In its latter inquiry (available only in Hungarian) the GVH suggested the initiation of awareness-raising programmes for merchants, the extension of the POS terminal installation programme to merchants falling into the ‘medium’ category on the basis of card payment turnover, and the promotion of bank card acceptance and bank card use through tax policy instruments for consideration.
As far as consumers are directly concerned, the good news is that the value of monetary commitments to be reimbursed to consumers, payable by undertakings found to have committed infringements, increased to a total of HUF 600 million. The GVH remains committed, as the preferred option over lengthy court proceedings, to the payment of direct compensation to consumers as quickly as possible.
The prompt and efficient handling of merger control cases remains a priority of the Authority. By rapidly concluding these authorisation procedures, the GVH was able to reduce the market risks inherent in such transactions.
The full report and its brief summary can be found on the GVH's website (available only in Hungarian).
Budapest, 27 May 2020
Hungarian Competition Authority
Phone: (+36-30) 180-2060