On June 30, 2022, we received official confirmation that the Court of Justice reaffirmed the European Commission's right to prioritize competition cases. By its decision, the Commission did not decide whether Velux was abusing a dominant position or not but stated that the matter was of too low priority and would therefore not be dealing with it. It took the Commission a total of 12 years to reach this decision.
In July 2006, FAKRO filed a formal complaint to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Poland, which, after finding that the irregularities indicated in the complaint had a European scope, considered itself inappropriate and notified the European Commission. In 2009, the Commission closed the case without any justification. Specifically, it did not comment on the allegation whether Velux's actions were lawful or not. Therefore, on July 12, 2012, FAKRO submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission, hoping for a substantive decision. In 2018, the EC decided not to conduct the proceedings, recognizing that the examination of the evidence submitted by FAKRO "may be particularly long and labour-intensive and may require the allocation of a significant amount of the Commission's resources." In this way, we were deprived of the possibility of a reliable assessment of the painstakingly collected evidence and honest examination of the case, which made us feel disappointed.
FAKRO did not accept that the Commission did not respond to the complaint. We decided to continue to fight for our rights by appealing to the Court of Justice of the European Union. In its judgment, the CJEU relied on the previous judicial decision, which states that the bodies of the European Commission do not have to deal with all cases which come to them and should have the right to set priorities.
In recent years, the CJEU has heard as many as 17 cases constituting appeals against the Commission's decisions concerning complaints rejected as not in the scope of interest of the European Union. Unfortunately, only in one case the CJEU did not agree with the position of the Commission.
A detailed examination of the case by the Commission, which has the best tools for comprehensive conduct of the procedure on the entire EU market, would certainly be the best solution. Unfortunately, the Commission did not take on this task.
The decision of the CJEU of June 30 this year does not settle the issue. The court only confirmed that the European Commission did not have to handle the case. Since the conflict caused by the allegations being handled by two offices (the European Commission and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection) has ceased to exist, the Polish authority has no limitations in hearing this case. FAKRO has decided to pursue its rights (as suggested by the European Commission) in national competition protection authorities. Simultaneously with the appeal to the CJEU, we applied to the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and look forward to a further course of events in the national arena. We hope that the Polish competition protection authority will substantively respond to our allegations. Regardless of this, we focus on the continuous development of our company, and we do everything to strengthen our market position despite the difficulties.
FAKRO believes that pursuing our rights in the European Commission is one of the ways of striving for justice and the law-abidingness. We do not stop in our actions. Despite the difficulties and challenges encountered, we will pursue our arguments before the institutions in Poland. All steps taken are aimed at the continuing development of FAKRO in pursuit of continuous improvement of our products and nurturing relationships with our partners and customers.
The Management Board of the FAKRO Group
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