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29 April 2021
On 13 October 2020 the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) closed an inquiry into the marketing association Stowarzyszenie Komunikacji Marketingowej (SKM) SAR with commitments.
SKM SAR comprises more than 120 marketing agencies providing promotional and advertising services.
In December 2019 the UOKiK opened an investigation into whether SKM SAR encouraged branding agencies to resign from participation in specific tenders and organised exchanges of information that could restrict competition.
Marketing agencies are often asked to submit an initial vision for a project in a tender.
The association obliged branding agencies to resign from tenders in which no remuneration was due for a creative process (eg, the presentation of a poster or packaging design) – the so-called 'rejection fee'.
The UOKiK stated that this deprived members of their independence in making decisions and limited their freedom.
The association also initiated exchanges of information through a special electronic platform where marketing agencies posted information about which tenders they intended to take part in. If the same tender was notified by several agencies, they would be assigned a common 'bidding room'.
In response to the inquiry, SKM SAR withdrew from the questioned practices and undertook to remove their effects. The association committed to several further measures within specified deadlines.
Participating in tenders is the individual decision of each participant.
Members, or other entities, will not be provided with tools increasing the transparency of information regarding tenders or competition procedures, beyond that resulting from publicly available sources.
In addition, none of the members of SKM SAR will be able to refer to any document of the organisation indicating the mandatory use of the rejection fee.
For further information on this topic please contact Pawel Kulak at Schoenherr Attorneys at Law by telephone (+48 22 223 09 00) or email (email@example.com). The Schoenherr Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.
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