CCPC publishes 2018 Annual Report

September 9, 2019

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today published its 2018 Annual Report.

The CCPC’s performance and outputs in 2018 highlight the impact of our work for consumers, businesses and society. 2018 was a year when our enforcement activities were combined with proactive business compliance actions to foster better business conduct. Our advocacy and public awareness work sought not only to empower and equip consumers to make informed choices and assert their rights, but also to highlight the importance of consumer welfare in policy-making.

The CCPC’s vision is for open and competitive markets where consumers are protected and businesses actively compete. In 2018, we were active in a number of sectors across the economy including vehicle crime, ticketing, motor insurance, mortgages, waste collection, PCP car finance and the import of unsafe products. We concluded Ireland’s first criminal investigation involving ‘gun-jumping’, referring the file to the DPP who gave direction to prosecute, and published the first financial wellbeing study ever conducted in Ireland.

In the retail sector we carried out inspections of 78 premises to check compliance under consumer protection law and took enforcement action against a number of traders for breaching consumer protection law. 15 Fixed Payment Notices were paid by traders and Compliance Notices were issued to five traders directing them to comply with consumer law.

2018 was an important year of progress in terms of the CCPC’s legislative powers. We saw the advancement of the European Commission’s ECN+ Directive which is an important piece of legislation that will bring Ireland in line with other European countries by allowing non-criminal financial penalties for breaches of competition law. The CCPC welcomes the ongoing progress in the implementation of this Directive.

Our merger review activity continued at a pace, with 98 mergers notified (a 36% increase on 2017) and 95 determinations issued. In five of these determinations, we required commitments from the parties to alleviate competition concerns.

In 2018, in common with many organisations, Brexit posed an immediate priority. We were part of the wider Government assessment and preparation for Brexit and published research by the ESRI on the potential impact of Brexit scenarios on Irish households.

Our work to inform consumers about their rights and financial education resulted in over 1.6 million visits to our website, ccpc.ie, and 42,364 contacts from consumers and businesses. We ran four consumer awareness campaigns on personal finance and consumer rights issues including buying a car and car finance, mortgage switching, buying online and booking a holiday.

The CCPC’s 2018 Annual Report is available here.

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