Ireland: The CCPC's First Annual Report

Last Updated: 15 November 2016
Article by Richard Ryan, Florence Loric and Patrick Horan
Most Read Contributor in Ireland, October 2018

 The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the "CCPC") was established on 31 October 2014, combining the former Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency. The CCPC has published its first annual report relating to the period from its establishment to 31 December 2015. This provides an insight into how the new agency has operated so far and where its priorities may lie going forward.


The number of notifiable mergers has increased: The CCPC reviewed 88 mergers during the period covered, up significantly from 48 in the previous corresponding period. The CCPC recognised two reasons for this. First, the lower financial threshold of €3 million for the mandatory notification of mergers meant a greater number of lower value mergers were notified. Second, there has been an increase in mergers and acquisition activity generally both at a national and international level as economic activity recovers.

Reviews of notifiable mergers can take longer: The CCPC now has 30 working days at Phase 1 to review a merger as opposed to previously being allowed just one calendar month. However, on average, the CCPC dealt with Phase 1 cases in approximately 24 working days.

A significant number of allegations were received: The CCPC reviewed 74 allegations of competition law breaches and began two large-scale formal investigations.


Baxter Healthcare / Fannin Compounding: This was the first notified merger in the State to be cleared on the basis of the "failing firm" defence. After a detailed investigation involving third party and expert evidence, the CCPC concluded that the competitive structure of the relevant market would deteriorate to at least the same extent in the absence of the proposed acquisition. While the transaction resulted in the combination of the only two suppliers in the market for the commercial supply of compounded chemotherapy medicines, the CCPC found that the counterfactual would also result in only a single supplier remaining, but with the additional disadvantage for consumers that the failure of Fannin Compounding would have seen its assets leave the market.

Topaz Investments Limited / Esso Ireland Limited: The acquisition by Topaz Investments Limited of Esso Ireland Limited was cleared by the CCPC at Phase 2 subject to Topaz giving a binding commitment to divest a number of the businesses being acquired, including three retail service stations in the Dublin area.

Valeo / Wardell / Robert Roberts: This Phase 2 merger review found issue with one of the twenty separate food products involved, concluding that the reduction from three to two competitors in the "brown sauce" market would likely lead to a substantial lessening of competition. The proposed transaction was cleared subject to Valeo identifying, and the CCPC approving, an appropriate upfront buyer for the YR brand of brown sauce.


Cartel investigations: A CCPC investigation in the industrial flooring sector led to the Director of Public Prosecutions deciding to charge an individual and an undertaking with bid-rigging offences. The CCPC also began investigating allegations of cartel offences in the aviation sector and closed two investigations in what the CCPC described as the procurement and retail sectors.

Bagged cement investigation: The CCPC launched an investigation into the bagged cement industry in May 2015 with dawn raids at five locations. This investigation is ongoing.


Review of financial threshold levels: The CCPC is currently in the process of reviewing the financial thresholds for notification with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The CCPC is concerned that a number of smaller, domestic mergers which have little or no effect on competition are being caught. However, any change to the threshold would be a matter for the Government to bring about through primary legislation.

Public procurement will remain a priority area: Commenting on the publication of the annual report, Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the CCPC has stated that the CCPC's "experience in investigating cartels shows that one of the most common forms of cartel concerns bid rigging". The CCPC estimates that such activity could cost the Irish taxpayer in the region of €100 million each year. For this reason, the CCPC is considering the introduction of a screening programme for public procurement processes which would systematically search for indications that bid rigging may have occurred.

Cartel investigations remain a key priority: The majority of cases involving allegations of non-cartel anti-competitive conduct are closed following a preliminary investigation due to insufficient evidence. The CCPC says that it will continue to place emphasis on cartel investigations given their status as the most serious breach of competition law.

It is clear that although the CCPC is still in its early days, its first reporting period has been a very busy one, particularly in the areas of investigations and merger control. In order to manage its significant caseload, the CCPC is likely to continue to place emphasis on prioritising particular cases and applying the appropriate investigative techniques.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions