On 1 June 2005, at the request of several petitioners the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“CCCP”) instituted antimonopoly proceedings on suspicion of abuse by PZU Życie of its dominant position in the market of employee group insurance, which might breach the provisions of Article 8 of the Act on competition and consumer protection and Article 82 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community. In the decision of 25 October 2007 concluding the aforementioned proceedings, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposed a fine of PLN 50,384 thousand on PZU Życie for hindering access to the competitors’ offers.
The Management Board of PZU Życie disagrees both with the findings and legal arguments presented in the decision. According to the Management Board of PZU Życie, the decision issued did not take into account all the evidence and the legal qualification was incorrect, as a result of which it was assumed wrongly that the market position of PZU Życie was dominant.
PZU Życie appealed against the decision to the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, presenting 38 substantive and formal charges with respect to the decision issued by the President of CCCP. On 31 May 2010 the Court issued a ruling whereby it dismissed the appeal of PZU Życie on the grounds that the decision of the President of CCCP of 25 October 2007 was not correctly served on PZU Życie and thus the period available to PZU Życie to appeal against the decision did not start. The ruling has been appealed against by both parties. Having considered the appeals placed by the plaintiff and the defendant, in a ruling of 26 October 2010, the court of second instance cancelled the disputed decision. In a ruling of 17 February 2011, the District Court in Warsaw – Consumer and Competition Protection Court – partly modified the decision in question, at the same time dismissing the appeal lodged by PZU Życie in relation to the amount of penalty. On 6 May 2011, PZU Życie appealed against the decision.
In its judgment of 9 May 2013, the Appellate Court in Warsaw admitted the charges filed by PZU Życie and reversed the judgment of the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection on grounds of nullity of legal proceedings, cancelled the proceedings to the extent that they were null and remanded the matter for a new trial before the District Court in Warsaw – Court of Competition and Consumer Protection.
On 20 December 2013, a trial was held before the District Court in Warsaw – Court of Competition and Consumer Protection. Pronouncement of the judgment was deferred twice due to the judge’s illness. Therefore, on 17 January 2014 the trial was reopened. The following trial is to be held on 14 March 2014.
Regardless of the initiated appellation procedures, PZU Życie recognized a provision for the above fine, whose amount both as at 31 December 2013 and 31 December 2012 was PLN 50,384 thousand.