Competition Act 2002


Number 14 of 2002


COMPETITION ACT 2002

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of Competition Act 2002. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Finance Act 2017 (41/2017), enacted 25 December 2017, and all statutory instruments up to and including Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 1 of 2018), made 4 January 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 14 of 2002


COMPETITION ACT 2002

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Competition Acts 2002 to 2017 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Competition (Amendment) Act 2017 (12/2017), s. 4(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Competition Act 2002 (14/2002)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2006 (4/2006)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2010 (12/2010)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 (18/2012), other than s. 9

Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (29/2014), parts 3 and 4

Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 (36/2014), s. 4

Competition (Amendment) Act 2017 (12/2017)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1990, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 (34/2017)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2017 (12/2017)

Workplace Relations Act 2015 (16/2015)

Companies Act 2014 (38/2014)

Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 (36/2014)

Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (29/2014)

Health (General Practitioner Service) Act 2014 (28/2014)

National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2014 (23/2014)

Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (14/2014)

Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (26/2013)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 (18/2012)

Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011)

Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 2011 (10/2011)

Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010 (36/2010)

Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2010 (12/2010)

Communications Regulation (Premium Rate Services and Electronic Communications Infrastructure) Act 2010 (2/2010)

National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 (34/2009)

Investment of the National Pensions Reserve Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009 (7/2009)

Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 (5/2009)

Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act 2009 (1/2009)

Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008 (18/2008)

Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007 (22/2007)

Consumer Protection Act 2007 (19/2007)

Competition (Amendment) Act 2006 (4/2006)

Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2005 (12/2005)

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003)

Communications Regulation Act 2002 (20/2002)

National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000 (33/2000)

Pensions Act 1990 (25/1990)

Building Societies Act 1989 (17/1989)

Central Bank Act 1942 (22/1942)

All Acts up to and including Finance Act 2017 (41/2017), enacted 25 December 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

European Union (Actions for Damages for Infringements of Competition Law) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 43 of 2017)

European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 289 of 2015)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Funding Standard) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 135 of 2013)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 10) (Commencement) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 491 of 2011)

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 34(11)) (National Transport Authority) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 72 of 2011)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 34(11)) (Commission For Taxi Regulation) Order 2009 (S.I. No. 555 of 2009)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 70 of 2009)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Funding Standard)(Amendment) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 295 of 2008)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 18 (5) and (6)) Order 2007 (S.I. No. 122 of 2007)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 34(11)) (Health Insurance Authority) Order 2005 (S.I. No. 127 of 2005)

Competition Act 2002 (Commencement) Order 2004 (S.I. No. 196 of 2004)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 34(11))(Director of Consumer Affairs) Order 2003 (S.I. No. 130 of 2003)

Competition Act 2002 (Notification Fee) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 623 of 2002)

Competition Act 2002 (Section 18 (5)) Order 2002 (S.I. No. 622 of 2002)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefits) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 279 of 2002)

Competition Act 2002 (Commencement) Order 2002 (S.I. No. 199 of 2002)

Occupational Pension Schemes (Funding Standard) Regulations 1993 (S.I. No. 419 of 1993)

All statutory instruments up to and including Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 1 of 2018), made 4 January 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 14 of 2002


COMPETITION ACT 2002

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title.

2.

Commencement.

3.

Interpretation.

PART 2

Competition Rules and Enforcement

4.

Anti-competitive agreements, decisions and concerted practices.

5.

Abuse of dominant position.

6.

Offence in respect of breach of section 4(1) or Article 81(1) of the Treaty.

7.

Offence in respect of breach of section 5(1) or Article 82 of the Treaty.

8.

Penalties and proceedings in relation to offences under sections 6 and 7.

9.

Provisions as respects expert evidence.

10.

Provision of information to juries.

11.

Trial of persons for certain offences by Central Criminal Court.

12.

Presumptions.

13.

Admissibility of statements contained in certain documents.

14.

Right of action for breaches of competition rules.

14A.

Right of action of competent authority.

14B.

Applications to High Court for orders in relation to certain agreements.

15.

Appeal to High Court against declaration under section 4(3) .

PART 2A

Competition in Grocery Goods Trade

15A.

Definitions and operation of this Part.

15B.

Anti-competitive conduct in grocery goods trading.

15C.

Right of action for section 15B.

PART 2B

Application of Section 4 to Collective Bargaining and Agreements in respect of Certain Categories of Workers

15D.

Definitions.

15E.

Collective bargaining and agreements in respect of certain categories of workers.

15F.

Prescribed relevant category of self-employed worker.

PART 3

Mergers and Acquisitions

16.

Mergers and acquisitions for the purposes of Act.

17.

Application of sections 18 to 22.

18.

Obligation to notify certain mergers and acquisitions.

19.

Limitation on merger or acquisition being put into effect.

20.

Examination by the Authority of notification.

21.

Determination of issues concerned without full investigation, etc.

22.

Determination of issues concerned on foot of full investigation.

23.

Provisions with regard to media mergers.

24.

Appeal to the High Court against determination of the Authority.

25.

Laying of order under section 23(4) before Houses of the Oireachtas.

26.

Enforcement of certain commitments, determinations and orders.

27.

Alteration of certain monetary amounts.

28.

Relationship between this Part and other enactments.

PART 3A

Media Mergers

28A.

Interpretation and application.

28B.

Notification of media merger to Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

28C.

Limitation on media merger being put into effect.

28D.

Initial examination by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources of media merger notification.

28E.

Full media merger examination.

28F.

Advisory panel.

28G.

Determination of Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources after full media merger examination.

28H.

Review of conditions in determination under section 28G(1)(c).

28I.

Enforcement of certain determinations.

28J.

Limitation of judicial review of determination.

28K.

Fees.

28L.

Guidelines.

28M.

Report and Research.

28N.

Sharing of information and documents and disclosure of confidential information.

28O.

Expenses in administration of part.

PART 4

The Competition Authority

29.

The Competition Authority.

30.

Functions of the Authority.

31.

Investigations of the Authority — general provisions.

32.

Prohibition on unauthorised disclosure of information.

33.

Strategic plans and work programmes.

34.

Provisions for co-operation between the Authority and statutory bodies.

35.

Membership.

36.

Disqualification.

37.

Meeting and business.

38.

Functions and accountability of chairperson.

39.

Staff.

40.

Seal of the Authority.

41.

Accounts and audits.

42.

Annual report.

43.

Grants and borrowing powers.

44.

Superannuation.

45.

Authorised officers and their powers.

46.

Relationship of Authority with foreign competition bodies.

47.

Information relating to offences under this Act may be disclosed to Authority.

PART 4A

Performance of Functions of Commission Under this Act

47A.

Function of the Commission to investigate complaints relating to the electronic communications market.

47B.

Delegation of functions of Commission.

47C.

Commission to notify Authority before acting under this Act.

47D.

Responsibilities of Authority with respect to notifying existence of certain agreements, decisions, practices and abuses.

47E.

Authority and Commission to make every effort to settle disputed questions.

47F.

Undertaking not liable to be prosecuted by both Authority and Commission for same offence.

47G.

Co-operation agreement between Authority and the Commission with respect to performing their respective functions under this Act.

PART 5

Miscellaneous

48.

Repeals.

49.

Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987.

50.

Protections for person reporting breaches of Act.

51.

Amendment of Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893.

52.

Regulations and orders.

53.

Expenses.

54.

Provision with respect to fees payable under this Act.

55.

Saving and transitional provisions.

SCHEDULE 1

Statutory Bodies and their responsible Ministers of the Government

SCHEDULE 2

Saving and Transitional Provisions

SCHEDULE 3

Redress for Contravention of Section 50(3)

SCHEDULE 4

Relevant Categories of Self-employed Worker


Acts Referred to

Broadcasting Act, 2001

2001, No. 4

Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956

1956, No. 45

Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1956 and 1958

Competition Act, 1991

1991, No. 24

Competition Acts, 1991 and 1996

Competition (Amendment) Act, 1996

1996, No. 19

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act, 1993

1993, No. 8

European Parliament Elections Act, 1997

1997, No. 2

Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Act, 1971

1971, No. 31

Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893

56 & 57 Vict. c. 39

Interpretation Act, 1937

1937, No. 38

Mergers and Takeovers (Control) Acts, 1978 to 1996

Mergers, Take-overs and Monopolies (Control) Act, 1978

1978, No. 17

Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 and 1984

Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997

1997, No. 20

Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851

1851, c. 93

Public Offices Fees Act, 1879

1879, c. 58

Radio and Television Act, 1988

1988, No. 20

Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 1990

Restrictive Practices (Amendment) Act, 1987

1987, No. 31

Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994

1994, No. 5

Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977

1977, No. 10

Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 1993


Number 14 of 2002


COMPETITION ACT 2002

REVISED

Updated to 1 January 2018


AN ACT TO MAKE NEW PROVISION, BY ANALOGY WITH ARTICLES 81 AND 82 OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, AND IN THE INTERESTS OF THE COMMON GOOD, FOR THE PROHIBITION OF ACTIVITIES WHICH PREVENT, RESTRICT OR DISTORT COMPETITION IN TRADE IN THE STATE OR WHICH CONSTITUTE AN ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION IN SUCH TRADE, TO COMPLEMENT THE POWERS AVAILABLE TO THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES WITH REGARD TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE SAID ARTICLES 81 AND 82, TO MAKE NEW PROVISION, IN THE INTERESTS OF THE COMMON GOOD, FOR THE CONTROL OF CERTAIN MERGERS OR ACQUISITIONS, TO CONTINUE IN BEING THE COMPETITION AUTHORITY AND MAKE NEW PROVISION ABOUT ITS FUNCTIONS, TO REPEAL THE COMPETITION ACTS, 1991 AND 1996, THE MERGERS AND TAKEOVERS (CONTROL) ACTS, 1978 TO 1996, AND CERTAIN OTHER ENACTMENTS, TO AMEND THE INDUSTRIAL AND PROVIDENT SOCIETIES ACT, 1893, WITH RESPECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN SPECIAL RESOLUTIONS THEREUNDER, AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [10 th April, 2002]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of Act restricted (1.01.2018) by Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 (34/2017), s. 42(13), commenced as per s. 1(2).

Regulation of fees and other payments

42. ...

(13) A Minister of the Government may define the manner in which consultations under subsection (9) are to be conducted and conduct them in such manner, and with such representatives of service providers or otherwise, as he or she considers appropriate, and nothing in the Competition Act 2002 shall prevent participation by that Minister or any such representative in such consultations, or the communication and discussion of the outcome of such consultations by the representatives with the service providers they represent.

...

C2

Application of Act restricted by Health Act 1970 (1/1970), s. 58C(8)(b), as inserted (1.07.2015) by Health (General Practitioner Service) Act 2014 (28/2014), s. 5, S.I. No. 267 of 2015.

[ Agreement for provision of service under section 58B

58C. ...

(8) ...

(b) The Minister or, as the case may be, the Health Service Executive shall conduct consultations under subsection (5) in the manner defined under paragraph (a) and with such representatives of relevant medical practitioners or otherwise as the Minister or, as the case may be, the Health Service Executive considers appropriate, and nothing in the Competition Act 2002 shall prevent participation by the Minister, the Health Service Executive or any such representative in such consultations, or the communication and discussion of the outcome of such consultations by the representatives with the relevant medical practitioners they represent.

...]

C3

Application of Act restricted (31.10.2014) by Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (29/2014), s. 33(1), S.I. No. 366 of 2014.

Saving for legal privilege

33. (1) Subject to subsection (2), nothing in this Act, the Act of 2002 or the Act of 2007 shall compel the disclosure by any person of privileged legal material or authorise the taking of privileged legal material.

(2) The disclosure of information may be compelled, or possession of it taken, pursuant to this Act, notwithstanding that it is apprehended that the information is privileged legal material provided that the compelling of its disclosure or the taking of its possession is done by means whereby the confidentiality of the information can be maintained (as against the person compelling such disclosure or taking such possession) pending the determination by the High Court of the issue as to whether the information is privileged legal material.

...

C4

Application of Act restricted (27.02.2009) by Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 (5/2009), s. 9(10), commenced on enactment.

Reduction of payments to health professionals.

9.— ...

(10) The Minister for Health and Children may define the manner in which consultations under subsection (4) are to be conducted and conduct them in such manner, and with such representatives of health professionals or otherwise, as he or she considers appropriate, and nothing in the Competition Act 2002 shall prevent participation by that Minister or any such representative in such consultations, or the communication and discussion of the outcome of such consultations by the representatives with the health professionals they represent.

Editorial Notes:

E1

Powers granted to authorised officers in relation to investigations under Act (31.10.2014) by Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (29/2014), s. 37, S.I. No. 366 of 2014.

E2

Power to appoint authorised officers under Act provided and powers of authorised officers specified by Communications Regulation Act 2002 (20/2002), s. 39(1), (3), as amended (12.07.2010) by Communications Regulation (Premium Rate Services and Electronic Communications Infrastructure) Act 2010 (2/2010), s. 16(i), (ii), S.I. No. 234 of 2010.

E3

Previous affecting provision: application of section restricted (2.10.2008) by Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008 (18/2008), s. 7(2), commenced on enactment; repealed (1.08.2013) by Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (26/2013), s. 92, S.I. No. 287 of 2013.

E4

Previous affecting provision: requirement to report suspected criminal offence or infringement of Act imposed by Central Bank Act 1942 (22/1942), s. 33AK(3)(a)(vi) as inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 26, S.I. No. 160 of 2003; substituted and deleted (1.10.2010) by Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010), s. 14(1) and sch. 1 pt. 1, item 39, S.I. No. 469 of 2010.