CCPC publishes first annual report

August 14, 2016

 

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“the CCPC”) has today published its inaugural annual report. The report details the work undertaken by the CCPC in achieving its strategic goals from 31 October 2014 to 31 December 2015.

 

Key highlights include the following:

  • 62 consumer enforcement actions against traders for breaches of consumer protection legislation
  • 88 mergers assessed; 8 of which required either an extended phase 1 investigation or a full phase 2 investigation
  • 74 allegations of competition law breaches reviewed and two large-scale formal investigations opened
  • One individual and an undertaking were charged by the DPP with bid rigging offences following an investigation by the CCPC
  • 33,818 products prevented from entering the market because of product safety concerns
  • 1,892,409 visitors sought information through our websites and 50,924 consumers were given information regarding consumer rights and personal finance via our helpline

 

Speaking today, Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said, “It was a busy first 14 months for the CCPC and we have achieved significant results for consumers and businesses. Our remit is across all sectors of the economy and this is reflected in the various enforcement actions taken in retail, telecoms, tourism and the motor sector to name but a few. It is also reflected in the wide range of consumer information campaigns we ran, the mergers we assessed and the broad spectrum of submissions that we made advocating for competition and consumers.”

Continuing Ms Goggin said, “In 2016, an ongoing priority for the CCPC is public procurement. Our experience in investigating cartels shows that one of the most common forms of cartel concerns bid rigging. The rate of the overcharge related to detected cartels worldwide is estimated to be between 20-30%, meaning that if only 5% of procurement processes were subject to bid rigging, the extra cost to the lrish taxpayer would be in the region of €100m per year. To both detect and deter bid rigging, the CCPC is exploring the introduction of a screening programme for procurement processes which systematically searches for indications that bid rigging may have occurred.

Given the potential scale of detriment, another area of priority for the CCPC is the second hand motor sector. In 2015, we received over 3,500 contacts from consumers relating to the motor sector – issues range from difficulties with deposits and financing, to potential car clocking and/or the selling of crashed cars. One such contact lead to the CCPC opening an investigation, which in recent weeks, resulted in an individual being prosecuted for misleading a consumer about the mileage of a car. A number of Divisions across the CCPC are working together to ensure traders comply with relevant legislation and consumers are able to make better-informed purchasing decisions.”

In conclusion, Ms Goggin said, “Bolstered by the commencement of a timely recruitment drive to fill long standing vacancies, in 2016 the CCPC will continue to take action where we believe there is significant consumer detriment and anti-competitive behaviours.”

 

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