Bringing a Private Action for a Breach of Competition Law
The CCPC is the body appointed by law to enforce competition law in Ireland. We do so by investigating breaches of the Competition Act 2002 (the Act) and of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the Treaty).
However, it is often the case that a firm or business which has been affected by a breach of competition law is in a better position than we are to bring an action quickly. If you have been affected in this way, you may be very familiar with the market in which the breach took place, or you may have a considerable amount of documentary evidence which could help prove the breach. Again, because you are intimately affected by that breach and that breach only, you will be able to devote your attention to it in a way that is not always possible for us.
We investigate many complaints and therefore have to prioritise those that are most important for consumers generally. We will not always be able to give your particular complaint the priority that you expect, because, although recognising that it is very important to you and your business, we have to devote our resources to investigating those complaints that have an effect on the wider population.
The Act recognises this reality, and it gives you, as well as the CCPC, the right to bring an action in the Circuit Court or the High Court. This document is intended to give you some guidance as to when it might be appropriate for you to do this, and how to go about it. It is not, however, intended to replace professional legal advice, and you should always get legal advice before beginning an action in the courts.