Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (292)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

292. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of investigative cases commenced for suspected anti-competitive conduct which does fall within the definition of a cartel to the end of quarter 3 2019 on an annual basis since the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, CCPC, was established in tabular form; the number of inspections carried out; the number of prosecutions and cartel decisions made; the number of cases which concluded with fines issued, the value of fines issued; the number of collected and uncollected fines; and the average fine per cartel and average length of cartel investigation to date. [47155/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the statutory body responsible for the enforcement of domestic and EU competition law in the State. Section 9 (5) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 provides that the Commission is independent in the performance of its functions. As investigations and enforcement matters generally are part of the day-to-day operational work of the Commission, I, as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, have no direct function in these matters.

The information sought by the Deputy in relation to civil investigative actions has been provided by the CCPC and is set out in the attached table for the period 31 October 2014 to 30 September 2019.

Criminal Investigative Actions 31 October 2014 - 30 September 2019

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Number of investigative cases commenced (cartel)

Investigations launched

1

2

1

1

0

Files screened*

NA

24

14

10

13

The number of searches carried out

5

20

1

1

0

The number of prosecutions and cartel decisions made **

0

0

1 resulting in 2 prosecutions

0

0

The number of cases which concluded with fines issued

0

0

1 resulting in 2 fines

0

0

The amount in Euro of fines issued

0

0

€55,000***

0

0

The number of collected and uncollected fines

0

0

As above

0

0

The average fine per cartel

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

The average length of cartel investigations to date in each year

NA

9 months

11.5 months

7 months

9 months

* When the CCPC receives a complaint in relation to potential anti-competitive behaviour it is examined through a screening process before a decision can be made as to whether there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation.

** The CCPC cannot make decisions or determinations concerning a breach of competition law. The CCPC’s role is to investigate alleged cartels and when sufficient evidence of a cartel is obtained, the CCPC submits a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions with the recommendation that the parties be prosecuted on indictment.

*** The leniency of the original sentence and fines (€17,500) imposed in 2017 were appealed by the DPP and in June 2018 the Criminal Court of Appeal increased the fines imposed on the individual convicted.