8 June 2021, Budapest – The Economic Commission of the National Assembly has accepted the report of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) on its activities and experiences regarding the enforcement of the Hungarian Competition Act in 2020.
Following the hearing of Csaba Balázs RIGÓ, the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority, on 8 June, the Economic Commission of the National Assembly has accepted the report of the GVH on its activities and experiences regarding the enforcement of the Hungarian Competition Act in 2020.
The GVH completed 106 proceedings in 2020, which represents an approximately 9% increase compared to the previous year. In addition to investigating restrictive agreements and abuses of dominant position or significant market power, the GVH took strict measures against unfair commercial practices as well, especially those affecting the interests of vulnerable consumer groups (the elderly, people suffering from illnesses, children). The growing significance of the digital economy is indicated by the fact that the competition supervision fines with the highest values were imposed on tech giants.
The Authority has made the merger control process more efficient since the primary criterium was the quick conclusion of investigations in 2020 as well, which reduced the market risks associated with such transactions. The GVH received 61 merger notifications last year, which was 7% higher than in the previous year.
In addition to imposing fines, consumer compensation was also brought to the foreground, along with forward-thinking compensation programmes with a positive impact on competition. Therefore, besides the record-high fines of HUF 8.4 billion imposed in 2020, the total value of compensation efforts accepted by the GVH, which directly benefit consumers, was also the highest ever last year, HUF 2.1 billion. In 20% of the cases closed, the GVH accepted the commitments of the undertakings subject to the proceeding, which ensured that these undertakings would operate in compliance with the law on a voluntary basis.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on competition supervision activities as well. The Authority had been monitoring the economic aspects of the pandemic from the very beginning and it took immediate action against unfair commercial practices, which built upon the fears of consumers as well as other infringements related to the pandemic.
‘I believe that the GVH with its restructured organisation and renewed staff, has fully and successfully completed its tasks in 2020. Furthermore, it managed to refund a one-off sum of HUF 150,000,000.00 from the budgetary resources made available to it into the central budget with the help of clever saving measures, which was used to create jobs – I think this serves as an example to all of us.’ said Erik Bánki, President of the Economic Commission of the National Assembly.
The annual report of the GVH is available on the website of the GVH.
GVH Press Office