High Court undertakings secured from dentists following collective boycott

Outcome of the Court Action

Legal proceedings were initiated by the Competition Authority (the Authority) against the Irish Dental Association following allegations of a collective boycott of a private dental insurance scheme being introduced by VHI DeCare.

Following these legal proceedings, the Authority accepted settlement terms in 2005 offered by the Irish Dental Association in the High Court.

Outline of the Case

The legal proceedings centred on allegations of a collective boycott. Agreements, concerted practices and decisions of associations of undertakings are prohibited under competition law where they have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition.

Following these proceedings, the Authority accepted settlement terms in 2005 from the Irish Dental Association. The terms of the final settlement were read out in court by counsel on behalf of the Authority. These included that the Irish Dental Association will not issue any communications to its members which instructs individual dentists to adopt a policy of non-co-operation with Vhi DeCare or other private dental insurance providers in breach of competition law.

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