SPCG won for T-Mobile Polska S.A. a precedent dispute with the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, regarding a subscription price increase and the obligation to pay public compensation.
By decision no. DDK-28/2015 of 30 December 2015 the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection decided that the practice of informing subscribers about unilateral change of contracts and increasing the subscription fee in 2014 has infringed the collective interests of consumers. At the same time, the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection has, for the first time in the history of its operation, imposed on the operator the obligation to pay the so-called public compensation (a specific lump sum/flat fee compensation) for consumers affected by the contested consumer practice in this mode. The decision also provided for a financial penalty for the operator in the amount of over PLN 4.5m.
As a result of the appeal of T-Mobile Polska against the aforesaid decision, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection by a judgment of 21 May 2018, annulled in its entirety the abovementioned decision of the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection. In oral justification of the judgment, the Court pointed out, among other things, that informing consumers about the change in pricing cannot be considered as a practice violating the collective interests of consumers. Such information, according to the Court, did not mislead consumers. The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection did not question the modification clauses possessed by the operator in contracts with subscribers.
Thus, as long as these clauses are not successfully challenged, all changes introduced to the contracts should be considered effective. The judgement is not legally binding.
In court proceedings in this case, T-Mobile Polska S.A. was represented by SPCG Partners: prof. Sławomir Dudzik and Marcin Koper.