This year, the competition office imposed a fine of more than HUF 2.2 billion

The amount of fines imposed by the Economic Competition Authority (GVH) this year exceeds HUF 2.2 billion, the authority told MTI on Saturday.

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According to the announcement, among other things, the separate abuse reporting system, active competition supervision, decisive action against technology giants, priority protection of families and vulnerable consumer groups, the fight against inflation and rapid merger control characterized GVH’s professional activities from 2023- in.

And the online Price Monitoring system operated by GVH since July 1 contributed to invigorating market competition

– they added.

In the announcement, Balázs Csaba Rigó, the president of the GVH, summarized the year 2023 as follows:

fair competition makes sense in every situation. This was also the case in 2023, which will go down in the history of the Hungarian economy as the year of the rapid collapse of inflation. 2024 is expected to be the year of the recovery of economic growth, when the protection of competition will also be of great importance. The national competition authority intends to contribute to the preservation of fair competition in 2024 by launching the Hungarian Compliance Academy, which is a series of discussions with actors in the economy focusing on the prevention of illegal behavior and education.

They explained that the GVH has been operating the separate abuse reporting system for years as part of its complaint and report management system: in 2023, the national competition authority handled more than 1,300 complaints and nearly 100 reports.

The GVH also carried out active competition supervision activities in 2023:

in the proceedings concluded this year, the GVH Competition Council imposed a total of more than HUF 2.2 billion in fines, and in addition, the convicted companies – as a result of the competition authority’s investigations – undertook to pay consumers about HUF 250 million in compensation.

The experts of the competition authority completed the liquidation of several cartels this year as well, such was the procedure concluded with a fine of more than HUF 300 million, in which the organization uncovered a road cartel affecting the entire country.

As an example, the discovery of illegal cooperation between Danube shipping companies organized to win the public tender for the operation of Budapest scheduled boat services was also cited. In the latter case, the Competition Council of the GVH also revoked the fine reduction, because it turned out that the shipping companies involved in the cartel were only pretending to cooperate with the competition authority.

It was pointed out that in 2023 the amount of all fine reductions was about HUF 827 million.

The Competition Council of GVH closed 89 cases in 2023, which is roughly the same as the number of cases closed last year.

In 2023, the organization also took a firm stand against the technology giants. One good example of this is that at the end of November, he closed the TikTok investigation, during which he achieved results with a global impact. The national competition authority is currently investigating the behavior of Viber, a member of the Rakuten group, and in July 2023 it initiated proceedings against Microsoft, they wrote.

It was also highlighted that in March Csaba Balázs Rigó proposed the creation of the online Price Monitoring System, which from July 1, with the comparability of prices and its powerful effect of stimulating competition – in addition to government and other measures – contributed to a significant reduction of food inflation, inflation reached single digits to suppress.

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