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Hungary / Constitutional Court / 30/2014 (IX. 30)

Company v Hugarian Competition Authority

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Constitutional Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The petitioners submitted a constitutional complaint against judgment no. Kfv.II.37.076/2012/28 of the Curia, delivered in a competition law case. The petitioner is a company that was fined for violating Section 11 of Act No. LVII of 1996 on the prohibition of unfair and restrictive market practices (1996. évi LVII. Törvény a tisztességtelen piaci magatartás és a versenykorlátozás tilalmáról ), for coordinating its actions with other companies in public procurement procedures. In its constitutional complaint it alleged that the Curia re-evaluated evidence in the review proceeding and approved the Hungarian Competition Authority’s decision on the basis of a sole evidence. As the decision of the Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal) was signed by those who delivered the preliminary assessment, in the petitioner’s opinion, the Curia ‒ when approving the Competition Authority’s procedure and decision, violated its right to an independent and impartial tribunal. Furthermore, the fine imposed on it was higher than the maximum available at the time of the alleged unlawful behaviour, which breaches the prohibition of retroactive criminal laws. The petitioner further argued that the lack of sufficient reasoning in the Curia’s judgment constitutes a violation of its right to a fair trial.