22nd June 2022
Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, today concluded the final Seanad Stages of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022. The Bill will shortly be sent to President Michael D Higgins for signature and enactment.
The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022 once signed will give more powers to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). Once enacted, breaches of competition law can be enforced through actions taken by competition authorities, with maximum fines of up to €10 million, or 10% of total worldwide turnover, whichever is greater.
Minister Troy said:
“This Bill, at its heart, is about the need for fair and open competition for our business, our economy, and our society. Today sees the conclusion of the legislative process in the Houses of the Oireachtas. I am proud to have seen this Bill through all Stages in both Houses and am proud of what this Bill, once enacted will mean for Irish society.
Anti-competitive practices affect everyone, make it more difficult for honest businesses to prosper and have adverse effects on consumers. By strengthening the powers of our competition authorities, we are taking an important step to ensure that Ireland’s economy is open, fair, and transparent.
The Government is committed to taking a tough stance on white-collar crime and this Bill represents an important step in this regard”.
Note for Editors:
- the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022 transposes into Irish law Directive (EU) 2019/1 otherwise known as the ECN+ Directive
- the ECN is the European Competition Network of Competition Authorities, which facilitates the coordination of activity and best practice amongst the competition authorities from all EU Member States and also the European Commission
- the ECN+ Directive is intended to empower the competition authorities of Member States to be more effective enforcers of competition rules and to ensure proper functioning of the EU’s internal market
- the Bill is a complex piece of legislation which provides for a uniform regime on both national and EU matters in relation to competition and the national competition authorities in Ireland, namely the CCPC, ComReg, the DPP and the Courts
- the Bill once enacted will represent a step change in competition enforcement for Ireland. It will provide for a new civil enforcement regime for the CCPC and ComReg with the power to levy significant administrative sanctions as well as other measures
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