CCPC welcomes Brian McHugh as new Chair

September 15, 2023

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Simon Coveney, has announced the appointment of Brian McHugh as the new Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Brian has been serving as a Member of the CCPC since 2017, and has over 20 years’ experience in the public sector, both here and in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about his vision for the organisation, Mr McHugh said:

“I am proud to have the opportunity to lead the CCPC. I believe now more than ever consumers need an organisation like the CCPC to tackle harmful businesses practices, assist them with practical help and advocate on their behalf.

Across the world, consumers are facing cost of living pressures making it even more important that markets are working well for the benefit of consumers. As evidenced in our recently published 2022 Annual Report, the CCPC has already been working to identify and respond to issues within our remit and where we can make a difference.

A major priority for the Commission in the months ahead will be to utilise the CCPC’s new legal powers to tackle head-on those businesses practices which are causing major consumer detriment and damaging competition. A key area of focus for the CCPC is strengthening our work in detecting bid-rigging, protecting the taxpayer’s annual procurement budget of €18.5 billion and utilising these new powers to investigate more competition law breaches including price fixing and abusive behaviour by dominant firms. Many of these practices directly or indirectly result in increased prices, a reduction in quality, or innovation, which affects consumers and other businesses and adds to the cost of living pressure.

A further priority for the CCPC in the months ahead is to continue our work in ensuring that large traders uphold consumers’ new rights under the Consumer Rights Act and comply with the rules around pricing under the Price Indication Directive. Alongside this we will be preparing to enforce new product safety laws and supporting the development and implementation of domestic and EU legislation relating to the digital economy.

These are challenging times for consumers, businesses and the economy and it will be important that the CCPC successfully grows to meet these new responsibilities and challenges. I look forward to working with the rest of the Commission, and the wider staff of the CCPC who I know are exceptionally dedicated to making a difference through their work.”

During his time as a Member of the Commission, Mr McHugh has worked across a number of different functions. He has led on a number of key projects including implementation of the new competition powers; the 2022 merger prohibition of Uniphar/NaviCorp; the private motor insurance and ticketing competition investigations; and the publication of research into social media influencers. He has also represented the CCPC on the Digital Regulators Group working on how regulation of the digital economy can best be co-ordinated in Ireland.

Prior to joining the CCPC, Mr McHugh spent 15 years in Northern Ireland’s Utility Regulator, the body responsible for both regulating and protecting the interests of consumers within the gas, electricity and water utility industries in Northern Ireland.

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