Isolde Goggin speech at European Commission

April 19, 2016


The Chairperson of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“the CCPC”) Isolde Goggin has today called for competition authorities to be provided with access to the full range of criminal and civil sanctions to enforce competition law.

Ms Goggin was speaking at a public hearing at the European Commission in Brussels on the topic of “Empowering the national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of EU competition rules.”

The CCPC has a strong track record in successfully pursuing anti-competitive behaviour across all markets. Cartels are considered the most serious form of anti-competitive conduct.  To date, 17 individuals and 16 companies, have been convicted of price fixing, in addition, an individual and an undertaking are currently before the courts charged with entering into a bid rigging agreement.

However, anti-competitive behaviour is much more than cartel activity as other breaches of competition legislation that the CCPC investigate include abuse of dominance and anti-competitive vertical agreements. The absence of civil fines for competition law infringements such as these is a significant gap in the Irish enforcement regime, which the CCPC have sought to address for many years. Unlike other European countries, Irish civil courts cannot impose fines on individuals or businesses and this has an impact on the CCPC’s ability to prosecute civil breaches of competition law.

Commenting at the event, Ms Goggin said, “The CCPC regard it as crucial that we, and other competition authorities, should have access to the full range of sanctions, both criminal and civil. In particular, in the Irish context, we believe that it is vital that civil fines should be one of the sanctions available to enforce competition law.”

Visit our speeches and presentations section to read Isolde Goggin’s full speech to the European Commission about “Leniency and Sanctions in the Member States when enforcing EU competition rules.


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