We have received official confirmation that the European Commission has not opened the official proceedings regarding FAKRO's complaint against unfair actions by the VELUX Group. The Commission refused to start the proceedings “by exercising its right to set priorities”. Our case, the case of the Polish economy turned out to be insufficient priority for the European Commission.
We have been experiencing unfavourable treatment from the Commission since the beginning of the procedure (as a consequence, the European Ombudsman still investigates our complaint against maladministration of the Commission).
Nevertheless, simply concluding our case on the basis of insufficient priority is a solution that the Commission has clearly been seeking for several years. This means extremely convenient escape of the Commission from answering the allegations that we included in our complaint. Having made this decision, the Commission does not prejudge whether a competitor abused a dominant position or not, but states that the case has too low priority and will therefore not be dealt with. In its letter, the Commission states, i.e. that “it does not intend to carry out an in-depth investigation procedure concerning allegations made by FAKRO”. This results from the fact that in its assessment “in order to assess allegations regarding the practice of predatory pricing, the Commission would have to do a full economic analysis (…). This would require the collection and analysis of an extensive set of data (…) This process may be particularly long and labour-intensive and may require the use of significant amount of the Commission resources.“
In this context, we express our utmost dissatisfaction with the work of the Commission. We would humbly accept any substantive decision, whatever it may be. Such a decision would have its value as it would show which activities are allowed on the market to be done by a competitor and which are not. However, the decision of not dealing with the case due to insufficient priority and lack of resources to work on the case is completely worthless. The situation when such a decision is made after six years of proceedings, without examination of the allegations made, is absolutely unacceptable. Naturally, we can already confirm at this point that we are working on submitting a complaint against this decision to the General Court of the European Union. In addition, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection declared in a letter sent to Polish Windows and Doors Association that if the Commission does not open the proceedings, the Office itself will deal with this case as it has such possibilities after the European Commission's refusal to initiate the proceedings. Anti-trust offices in other countries can also deal with this case.
We regret that our competitor interprets the Danish Commissioner's decision as an evidence for not breaking the law and not conducting a false image campaign against FAKRO in Poland and other European countries. Moreover, the fact that the Danish Commissioner does not want the case to be clarified and does not take official actions does not mean that Velux is not breaking the law.
We also note that VELUX is trying to involve FAKRO in its internal affairs. Velux combines a thread of the European Commission to which FAKRO submitted a complaint against VELUX's anti-competitive actions in 2012 with a thread of internal, illegal distribution of confidential materials by an ex-Velux employee. These are obvious methods of VELUX aimed at denigrating FAKRO and intimidating VELUX customers, partners and employees who in accordance with the law acting as the so-called whistle-blowers would like to report violations of the law by VELUX. We would like to emphasise once again that FAKRO did not illegally collect information about Velux. This as an internal matter of VELUX, with the help of which it tries to involve FAKRO in a dishonest way. The Danish and local authorities have never contacted FAKRO in this matter since they had no grounds to do so. FAKRO knowledge concerning this matter limits to information received from Velux messages.
In the near future we will prepare examples of evidence for the use of unfair practices by our competitor. We presented this evidence to the European Commission. However, the Commission did not express interest in a deeper analysis of the evidence.
FAKRO Press Officer
tel. +48 605 031 207