4 April 2023, Budapest – Parliament's Committee on Economic Affairs adopted the report of the Hungarian Competition Authority on its activities in 2022 and its experience in applying the Hungarian Competition Act. At the hearing, Csaba Balázs Rigó, President of the GVH, stressed that the Hungarian people can count on the Hungarian Competition Authority in 2023 as well.
In total, the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal – GVH) achieved HUF 2 billion in consumer compensation and imposed fines of around HUF 3.7 billion in 2022. Last year, the national competition authority initiated competition supervision procedures against 101 undertakings, of which 57 were fined and only 5 of them used the legal remedy, which is the result of the GVH's new strategy of cooperation.
According to the Annual Report adopted by the Economic Affairs Committee at its meeting on 4 April, the GVH's strong action against cartels continued in 2022: the authority imposed 80% of competition fines for restrictive agreements, the vast majority of which were for the most serious cartel-type infringements.
The GVH has also repeatedly analysed the effects of its anti-competitive activities, based on international methodologies. Based on a conservative calculation, the prevention of the harmful effects of the anti-competitive agreements, dominant position abuses and anti-competitive mergers detected in the last five years has brought a total benefit of HUF 55 billion 412 million to the citizens of Hungary.
Csaba Balázs Rigó stressed at Tuesday's committee meeting that "the main objective of the national competition authority in 2022 was still to protect the Hungarian people and to help businesses that strive to comply with the law. The GVH's main priority was to ensure the legal protection of Hungarian families and to strengthen consumer protection action for families. In addition, the GVH is also actively doing its part to fight inflation, with the aim of bringing inflation in Hungary down to single digits by the end of the year."
In this context, the President of the GVH said that the Competition Authority is conducting a number of accelerated sector inquiries in the food sector to investigate in detail the reasons behind food inflation in the food sector, which are of competition law concern. Furthermore, a working group is already working on the creation of an online price monitoring database.
After the meeting, Erik Bánki, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, stressed that "In the recent uncertain and unpredictable global economic environment, there is a greater need than ever for active and proactive competition authorities. Protecting families and bringing down inflation caused by war and misguided Brussels sanctions are top priorities. The report adopted today proves that Hungarian people and Hungarian undertakings can count on the Competition Authority."
The GVH's 2022 Annual Report is available in full on its website.
In the latest episode of the GVH Podcast, published today, President Csaba Balázs Rigó talks about the results achieved by the national competition authority last year. Why 2022 was a success year in international activities, why it is worth cooperating with the Competition Authority, and what tools does the GVH use to protect consumers and steer businesses in the right direction?
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