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Court suspends publishing house takeover by fuel giant Orlen

In a motion at the Warsaw Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, Adam Bodnar, the ombudsman, asked for a waiver of UOKiK's permit, arguing that Orlen, as a state company, could use its ownership of Polska Press to put the publishing house under political pressure.
Mateusz Marek/PAP

An anti-monopoly Court has decided to suspend the execution of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection’s (UOKiK) approval of the acquisition of Polska Press by the PKN Orlen oil and gas company.

In a motion at the Warsaw Court of Competition and Consumer Protection, Adam Bodnar, the ombudsman, asked for a waiver of UOKiK’s permit, arguing that Orlen, as a state company, could use its ownership of Polska Press to put the publishing house under political pressure.

On April 8, 2021, the court decided to prohibit PKN Orlen from exercising its shareholder rights in Polska Press, thus granting the ombudsman’s motion, the Ombudsman’s Office wrote on Monday.

PKN Orlen’s CEO, Daniel Obajtek, tweeted on Monday that “we haven’t received any information from the court about Polska Press.”

The Polska Press group includes 20 leading regional newspapers, 120 weekly magazines and 500 online portals. It also provides printing services.

In early February, Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKIK) officially approved the Orlen’s takeover of Polska Press.

PKN Orlen, the largest oil and gas company in Poland, has already taken over Ruch, a company which distributes press and has retail services, mainly through a network of kiosks.


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