The Court of Competition and Consumer Protection upheld the motion of the Ombudsman to suspend the execution of the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on the takeover of Polska Press by PKN Orlen, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights informed on Monday.
As reported, the ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, was informed about such a court decision by telephone on Monday at the Registry of the District Court in Warsaw – 17th Department of Competition and Consumer Protection Court. The court’s decision – as reported – was made on April 8.
“According to it, on April 8, 2021, a ruling was issued on the motion to suspend the decision, including the ban on exercising participation rights by PKN Orlen in Polska Press. The court thus allowed the Ombudsman’s motion. Soon, the Ombudsman is to receive an official letter with the court’s decision.” – we read in the announcement.
In addition, at the beginning of March this year. The Commissioner for Human Rights appealed to the District Court in Warsaw (Court of Competition and Consumer Protection) against the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection regarding the consent to the concentration consisting in taking over by PKN Orlen control over Polska Press. Bodnar requested the court to revoke this consent.
“In accordance with the applicable regulations, the appeal itself is submitted to the court via UOKiK. The President of UOKiK has 3 months to send the appeal to the court (unless he changes his decision on the consent to concentration by means of auto-report). Currently, the Defender is still waiting for UOKiK to submit an appeal to the concentration. court that will recognize them “- explained the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
At the beginning of February this year. the consent for the purchase of Polska Press by the fuel giant was issued by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. According to UOKiK, the transaction does not pose a threat to competition on any of the analyzed markets.
“The planned concentration will not affect competition on the local press publishing market, where Polska Press is present, and PKN Orlen has not been present so far. Only the owner of Polska Press will change, and the market shares of its individual participants remain unchanged” – he said. in the announcement, Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
Polska Press leads a capital group that operates mainly in the media on 15 local markets in Poland. It publishes 20 regional dailies, nearly 120 local weeklies and free press. It sells advertising space in the press and on the Internet, and provides printing services. The group includes print shops and online sites.
Changes in the management board of Polska Press
Last week we informed that due to the acquisition of Polska Press by Orlen, the composition of the supervisory board has changed media company. The existing members were dismissed and a new four-person composition was appointed.
Tomasz Jakubiak, vice president of PGE Ventures became the head of the board. There are also members of the board: Marcin Dec, Marcin Jankowski and Magdalena Skowyrska.
These are not the only changes. In early March, Polska Press informed of the resignation of the president of Dorota Stanekwho has held this position since 2004. At the beginning of April, a journalist and author of books was appointed to the management board of Polska Press. Dorota Kania, a member of the management board, Paweł Fąfara, who was dismissed at the end of March, with “Gazeta Polska Codziennie” and Telewizja Republika.
The takeover is opposed, inter alia, by Helsinki Foundation for Human Rightswho previously submitted an opinion on this matter to the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny. According to HFHR representatives, “PKN Orlen’s actions are contrary to the constitutional principle of freedom of the media, which excludes legal subordination to political authorities.”
The takeover of Polska Press by Orlen was also the subject of the meeting parliamentary energy, climate and state assets committees, and culture and media committees.
Main photo source: Marcin Obara / PAP