Press statement from the CCPC

April 5, 2016

 

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“the CCPC”) notes the judgment delivered today by Mr Justice Max Barrett in the High Court action taken by CRH plc (“CRH”) against the CCPC.  The judgment relates to the seizure of certain electronic documents by the CCPC during an unannounced search at the premises of CRH’s subsidiary, Irish Cement Limited (“Irish Cement”), on 14 May 2015.

In light of the significance of the judgment, and having regard to our statutory functions and remit, the CCPC is considering carefully the implications of the judgment and the next steps that it will take.

Notwithstanding today’s judgment, the CCPC’s investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices by Irish Cement in the supply of bagged cement continues.

Background to the judgment

The CCPC carried out an unannounced search at the premises of Irish Cement on 14 May 2015 as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices in the supply of bagged cement in the State. During the search, the CCPC seized a number of electronic documents including the mailboxes of a number of current and former employees of Irish Cement. CRH argued that certain emails in the mailbox of one such employee – namely, Mr Seamus Lynch – were unrelated to the business of Irish Cement and were therefore not entitled to be seized.  Accordingly, in November 2015, CRH brought a High Court action against the CCPC seeking an injunction to prevent the CCPC from examining these emails.

 

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