The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the statutory body responsible for promoting compliance with, and enforcing, competition and consumer protection law in Ireland. We strive to improve consumer welfare across the economy by enforcing over 40 legislative instruments, including product safety legislation.
Our aim is to make markets work better for consumers. To achieve this, we work to influence public debate and policy development, grow public understanding of the importance of open and competitive markets, promote competition and highlight the interests of consumers.
We provide information to consumers about their rights, personal finance and product safety, through a consumer helpline, a dedicated section of our website, public awareness campaigns and through our various financial education initiatives.
The CCPC was established on 31 October 2014 after the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority were amalgamated.
What we do
The CCPC’s Strategy Statement sets out a high level framework that enables us to deliver tangible, relevant and impactful strategic outcomes within the resources available to us.
Behind each of our four strategic goals there is an ambition, a set of actions and a set of metrics to chart the achievement of the goal.
Our 2021-2023 Strategic Goals & Ambitions are:
- To ensure that consumers’ safety and welfare is protected from anti-competitive, harmful practices and unsafe products.
Our strategic goal: we will use our powers to deliver effective enforcement and compliance outcomes.
- To ensure that consumers have access to trustworthy information to help them make confident decisions and understand the risks, particularly when buying in complex and changing markets.
Our strategic goal: we will empower consumers to make informed decisions by providing information about their rights, personal finance and product safety.
- To make markets work better for consumers by representing their interests nationally and internationally. In doing so, grow public understanding of the importance of open and competitive markets and influence public policy and legislation.
Our strategic goal: we will be a leading voice in representing the interests of consumers and promoting competition.
- To support staff in developing their potential in a changing workplace. We will also ensure that the CCPC has effective processes and procedures in place to ensure that we provide value for money and uphold good corporate governance and integrity.
Our strategic goal: we will continue to invest in our people, governance and infrastructure, continuously improving in a changing workplace environment.
How we protect and promote competition and consumer welfare
Our role and functions are as follows:
- Enforcing competition law – we enforce Irish and European competition law in Ireland. We conduct investigations and can take civil or criminal enforcement action if we find evidence of breaches of competition law. Read more about competition enforcement.
- Enforcing consumer protection law – we enforce a wide range of consumer protection legislation. We have a variety of enforcement tools to tackle illegal practices by traders. Read more about consumer enforcement.
- Assessing mergers – we must be notified about proposed mergers, acquisitions and takeovers which reach a certain financial threshold, and all media mergers. We assess whether they are likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition. Read more about mergers.
- Enforcing product safety regulations – we work to ensure that product safety standards are being complied with through the General Product Safety Directive and other relevant regulations. We also share information about dangerous goods and enforcement measures across the EU through the Safety Gate. Read more about product safety.
- Influencing public debate and policy development– we highlight to Government and other policymakers the possible impact of proposed legislation or regulations on competition and/or consumer welfare. We also study markets and recommend ways in which competition or the experience of consumers can be improved. Find out about our advocacy.
- Informing consumers about their rights – we empower consumers by giving them information about their rights through our helpline and website. We also run public awareness campaigns. Find out more about consumer rights.
- Encouraging business compliance – we aim to foster a culture of business compliance by informing businesses how to comply with the law. Read more about business compliance.
- Personal finance information and education – we have a specific role under legislation to provide personal finance information and education to consumers. Read more in our Money Hub.
Protect & Regulate
- Platform to Business Regulations– we are responsible for monitoring compliance with and enforcement of the Platform to Business Regulations. These rules create a fair business environment for smaller businesses and traders on online platforms. Find out more about the P2B Regulations.
- Authorised Credit Intermediaries – we share responsibility for the advertising of credit facilities with the Central Bank and have specific responsibility for the authorisation of credit intermediaries and for maintaining the Register of Credit Intermediaries.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution – we assess applications from parties that wish to become Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities. ADRs aim to resolve disputes between consumers and traders out-of-court. Find out more about Alternative Dispute Resolution.
You can find out more about our functions, activities and vision in our Strategy Statement.
Who we are
The CCPC is governed by an Executive Chairperson and Commission structure. Each Member oversees a number of Divisions in the CCPC on behalf of the Commission. Here you can see the CCPC’s organisation chart.
Patrick Kenny is a Member of the CCPC. As well as collegiate decision making with other Members on all aspects of the organisation, he currently oversees the Product Safety and Legal Services Divisions.
He was first appointed as a Member of the Irish Competition Authority in January 2012 as Director of the Cartels Division. He is an economist. He took up his present responsibilities on 31 October 2014 upon the amalgamation of the Competition Authority with the National Consumer Agency. Patrick previously worked at different times for the Commission for Communications Regulation, the European Commission, Arthur Andersen and the Competition Authority.
Brian McHugh is a Member of the CCPC. As well as collegiate decision making with other Members on all aspects of the organisation, he currently oversees the Competition Enforcement & Mergers Division and the Policy & International Division.
He was appointed as a Member of the CCPC in September 2017. Prior to this he spent 15 years in Northern Ireland’s Utility Regulator, the body responsible for both regulating and protecting the interests of consumers within the gas, electricity and water utility industries in Northern Ireland. During his time at the Utility Regulator, Brian led the design and implementation of competition to expand the gas network in Northern Ireland. He also oversaw the DS3 project, which increased the capacity of electricity systems to manage more renewable energy sources. Brian holds a BA in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MSc in Energy Economics from the University of Surrey.
Úna Butler is a Member of the CCPC. As well as collegiate decision making with other Members on all aspects of the organisation, she currently oversees the Cartels and Digital Investigations Divisions.
She was appointed as a Member of the CCPC in January 2022. Prior to this, she was Director of Legal Services & General Counsel at the CCPC since 2014. In that role, she was responsible for establishing the CCPC’s Legal Services Division and overseeing the provision of legal advice on all aspects of the CCPC’s work. Úna previously worked as a legal advisor in the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) and as a lawyer in private practice in Dublin, specialising in EU, competition and regulatory law.
Úna holds a degree in Law/French from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in European Law from the College of Europe in Bruges and a postgraduate diploma in Economics for Competition Law from King’s College London. She was called to the Bar in 2003 with a Barrister-at-Law degree from the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. In 2019, Úna was included in a list of “40 in their 40s” Notable Women Competition Professionals in Europe, the Americas and Africa by W@, a global platform for women professionals.
Kevin O’Brien is a Member of the CCPC. As well as collegiate decision making with other Members on all aspects of the organisation, he currently oversees the Communications, Consumer Crime and Consumer Protection Divisions.
He was appointed as a Member of the CCPC in August 2022.
Before joining the CCPC, he was Head of Consumer Policy and Research at the Central Bank of Ireland and was Commissioner at the Commission for Communications Regulation from 2011-2018, serving as its Chairperson from 2013-2015. Kevin has also worked in a range of Irish Civil Service policy roles, dealing with energy, communications and broadcasting policy matters.
Kevin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from UCD, and a Masters in Development Studies from UCD. He also holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.
Public Service Innovation
Innovation is vital in order to help us solve the challenges that Ireland faces both now and in the future. As part of the ‘Our Public Service 2020’ initiative, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has signed a declaration on Public Service Innovation. This declares the CCPC’s intent to build a culture of innovation. We will:
- Further endorse innovation as the responsibility of every public servant;
- Enable, support, inform and equip our public servants to innovate in their roles;
- Cultivate new partnerships and involve diverse views in problem solving and designing and delivering our public services;
- Generate multiple options for existing and potential problems through exploration, experimentation, iteration and testing;
- Provide insights into our experiences, best practises and lessons learned with other public servants in Ireland and abroad;
- Share knowledge and data with citizens in an open and transparent way.
A copy of the declaration is available here.
Last updated on 21 March 2023