The sales ban for Allegro and OLX may do more harm than good
Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has banned the Allegro and OLX online platforms from selling 53 products, including antibacterial gels and fluids, face masks, and gloves. Members of the legal community point out that this was a rash decision which violates the principles of competition and, as such, may result in lawsuits against the State Treasury; quite apart from that, commentators also point out that these measures may lead to reduced availability of the proscribed items.
Art. 11 of the emergency Covid-19 legislation of 2 Marc 2020 empowers the prime minister – acting at the request of the wojewoda, and having notified the minister competent for matters of the economy – to promulgate administrative decisions obligating business enterprises to take specific measures. Such decisions of the prime minister become effective and enforceable forthwith, and they need not be accompanied by detailed reasoning.
On Wednesday, 11 March the prime minister exercised these emergency powers by ordering OLX and Allegro to cease sales of 53 products such as antibacterial gels, disinfecting agents, and protective shoe covers. As explained by the prime minister, this measure was taken for the good of the consumer public, in that many of the articles in question are of dubious origin, and their prices have soared in the present situation. The prime minister may now issue analogous proscriptions or instructions to any other enterprise, and likewise order additional, increased production of specific articles. Lawyers are pointing out that any such decisions ought to be the result of careful deliberation in that they may easily occasion detriment to the enterprises concerned, to the consumers whom they ostensibly protect, and to the State Treasury (...)