Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Questions (90)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

133 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the law as it stands on the potentially predatory acquisition of shares in a company by a direct and hostile rival; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that many other EU and OECD states have legislation outlawing this practice, especially if there are significant monopolistic implications; if she is preparing legislation in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10058/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

I am assuming that the Deputy's question relates to Competition Law.

Under the Competition Act 2002, any merger, involving the acquisition of shares in a company, by predatory purchase or otherwise, and which results in the acquisition of control of that company, must be notified to the Competition Authority if the merger satisfies certain financial thresholds. The 2002 Act also provides for voluntary notification of mergers which do not meet the said thresholds. All notified mergers are considered by the Authority with reference to whether the result of the merger will be to substantially lessen competition in markets for goods or services in the State.

In the context of the review of the implementation and operation of the 2002 Competition Act, submissions relating to the treatment of mergers have been received and are being examined by my Department.