The Economic Committee of the Hungarian Parliament has approved the annual report of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) on its activities in the year 2016 and on its experience with the application of the Competition Act.
Last year the GVH made decisions in 120 cases and imposed fines amounting to a total of approximately HUF 5.4 billion. Almost half of the cases terminated involved cases on concentrations. As compared to previous years, the number of decisions made in merger authorisation cases has overtaken the number of decisions made in consumer protection cases for the first time.
As a result of an amendment made at the beginning of 2016 decreasing the bureaucracy associated with public administrative tasks, the administration deadline for assessing simpler merger cases has significantly decreased. While the deadline for simplified procedures generally took 36 days in 2012, this was decreased to 12 days by 2016.
Once again last year the fight against cartels constituted a priority activity of the GVH, along with the protection of vulnerable consumers. The GVH also paid particular attention to the processes taking place within the digital world, both in relation to public media and other forums, and it aimed to respond to the questions raised in connection with the data based economy with its competition authority tools. The possibility of issuing warnings that entered into force in June in 2015 was applied twice against SMEs, hereby promoting compliance with competition law.
Similarly to previous years, the GVH facilitated market players’ understanding of competition law through the provision of handouts, guidelines and notices (four new notices were prepared on concentrations and a new guideline was published on the exercise of the right to access to files), while also further developing a culture of competition (via communication campaigns, publications). In 2016, with the aim of establishing a tradition the GVH organised for the first time the Hungarian Competition Law Forum I in cooperation with the Hungarian Competition Law Association.
The GVH has published its analysis for the third time in relation to the quantification of consumer benefits arising from competition protection. According to this analysis, in the period between 2011-2016 the GVH saved up more than six times its own budget for the benefit of consumers by uncovering competition-restricting agreements, abuses of dominant position and through the use of its merger control regime.
Budapest, 30 October 2017
Hungarian Competition Authority