News & Events

Minister Troy welcomes the enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022

Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment welcomed the enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2022. The Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on Wednesday, 29 June.

 Minister Troy said:

“The President signing the Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 into law will give our competition authorities the necessary powers to crack down on rogue operators that are found to be breaching competition law. Cartels, where they exist, will be broken up and companies abusing a dominant position can be suitably punished with heavy fines of up to 10% of global turnover.

These new powers will act as a big disincentive for those taking part in anti-competitive practices, which drive up costs, freeze out start-ups and smaller businesses and lead to bad quality products and poor services.

The Act also enables greater cooperation between competition authorities across the EU, allowing us to challenge these practices on a cross-border basis.”

The Competition (Amendment) Act 2022 gives more powers to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). Once the provisions come into force 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 added:

“This Act, at its heart, is about the need for fair and open competition for our business, our economy, and our society. I am proud to have seen this Bill through all Stages in both Houses and am proud of what this Act will achieve 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 the enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Act represents an important step in this regard”.

Note for Editors:

  • the Competition (Amendment) Act 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 Act 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 Act 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