Poland’s government is proposing a new law that would make parent companies liable for their subsidiaries’ violations of the competition protection law if the parent company “exercised decisive influence” on the subsidiary.
Currently, Polish law could be described as being extremely strict in not recognizing “piercing the corporate veil” between parent companies and their subsidiaries. The proposed law would represent a breakthrough and a milestone in Polish corporate law by providing much clearer grounds for finding a parent company liable for the actions of its subsidiary. In addition, it would significantly increase the power and authority of the Head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), which, under its current head, has become much more active in levying substantial fines for violations of Poland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Law.
The justification for the proposal is the need to incorporate the so-called ECN+ Directive into Polish law. In doing so, the proposal addresses the general requirements of the directive, which is intended to provide more efficient and effective enforcement of competition protection laws within the EU member states, and to further empower the competent authorities in that regard.