Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s 2016 Annual Report
September 3, 2017
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published its second Annual Report, showing the reach and impact of its work across the economy. The report outlines the enforcement actions taken, the investigations opened, the consumer awareness campaigns conducted, mergers assessed and the broad spectrum of advocacy submissions made during 2016. This activity demonstrates how the CCPC is helping to make markets work better for consumers, businesses, and the economy.
Protecting consumers from harmful business practices, whether anti-competitive or in breach of consumer protection legislation, is a core priority for the CCPC. In 2016, the CCPC focused on a number of markets including motor insurance, retail, public transport procurement and the private rental market.
Contacts from consumers play an important role in the identification of potential breaches in the law. Last year, in addition to the 1.6 million website visitors, 38,085 consumers made direct contact with the CCPC through its helpline. The information received helped to inform some of the 40 enforcement actions undertaken against 33 individual traders for breaches of consumer protection legislation. Contacts from consumers also provided the basis for the opening of 150 files into potential vehicle crime in the sale of “clocked” or crashed cars.
In the report, Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the CCPC, says: “When the CCPC was established it presented an opportunity to create an organisation with the knowledge and expertise to achieve the best outcomes for the economy. We are committed to making a significant impact where it is needed most. Growing and developing our staff is essential in achieving this, which is why in 2016 we commenced a recruitment drive that resulted in filling 33 vacancies across the organisation. I would like to thank the staff of the CCPC for their continued hard work and dedication throughout the year.”
“The priority for the CCPC now is to complete what we have started, both in terms of further resourcing the organisation and seeing through our ongoing investigations. And meeting the most fundamental challenge ahead for Ireland’s markets, which is the impact of Brexit. However, irrespective of the challenges that lie ahead, we will continue to work hard to ensure that markets remain open, and consumers are protected and able to assert their rights when they need to.”
Key highlights from the CCPC’s 2016 Annual Report include:
- 2 competition-related investigations were opened; one into potential price signalling in the motor insurance sector and one into the conduct of the Irish Property Owners Association
- 20 searches were undertaken in an investigation into potential bid-rigging in the public transport sector
- 159 files opened into potential vehicle crime, all of which came from information received from consumers
- 40 consumer enforcement actions were taken against 33 traders for breaches of consumer protection legislation
- 70 notified mergers were assessed; 69 of which were Phase 1 investigations and one Phase 2 Determination
- 1.6 million visitors sought information from the CCPC’s websites
- 189,776 products from 41 consignments were prevented from entering the Irish market because of product safety concerns
- 38,085 consumers sought information regarding consumer rights and personal finance via the CCPC Helpline. Issues with faulty good/services in the telecommunications, vehicles/personal transport all dominated
For a full copy of the 2016 annual report click hereReturn to News