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Public consultation on Competition Act merger provisions seeks views on range of issues including financial thresholds

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, today (29th September 2017) launched a public consultation on a review of certain provisions under the Competition Act 2002 relating to mergers and acquisitions, including financial thresholds.

Under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, Part 3 of the Competition Act 2002 (relating to mergers and acquisitions) was amended and these changes came into effect from 31 October 2014. In particular, amendments were made to the financial thresholds and the number of days in which the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) had to make a determination on a notified merger or acquisition.

An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. noted that “During the Oireachtas consideration of the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014, a commitment was given to review the operations of the amendments that were being introduced in that Bill. As we now approach the third anniversary of their introduction, I consider that such a review is now warranted, based on the experience to date.

In addition, with the Irish economy recovering, the issue of the appropriateness of the amended financial thresholds requires revisiting. To this end, a public consultation process is being undertaken to solicit views on the current system and to seek inputs as to possible legislative amendments that might be introduced.

The amendments introduced in 2014 have had the intended effect of allowing the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to focus on merger notifications with a real nexus to the State. However, it is timely to review the amendments, particularly the revised financial thresholds that were introduced, to ensure that the legislation is fit for purpose in the current environment,” she added.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation ph. 6312200 or press.office@dbei.gov.ie

Note for Editors

Public consultation on the Competition Act 2002 merger provisions

This consultation is seeking inputs to the following questions.

  • In relation to the financial thresholds introduced in the 2014 Act, should the individual turnover threshold level be amended, and if so, what level do you suggest it be set at? Supporting arguments for any such suggested changes should be supplied.

  • In relation to the financial thresholds introduced in the 2014 Act, should the aggregate turnover threshold level be amended, and if so, what level do you suggest it be set at? Supporting arguments for any such suggested changes should be supplied.

  • In relation to the number of “working days” set out in Part 3 of the 2002 Act, do you believe that any or all of these should be amended, and if so, what levels do you suggest they be set at? Reference to specific sections of the 2002 Act is requested. Supporting arguments for any such suggested changes should be supplied.

  • While this review is focussed on the issues of the financial thresholds and the number of working days in which the CCPC has to make a determination on a notified merger or acquisition, are there any other issues relating to the merger and acquisition provisions of the 2002 Act which you wish to raise as part of this consultation?

The deadline for receipt of responses is Thursday 30 November 2017.

 

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