325 days from first filing, the CCPC just recently cleared Live Nation’s acquisition of sole control of Irish concert promoter, MCD Productions, a merger of Ireland’s largest ticketing company and venue operator with the country’s biggest concert and event promoter.  Days later, the CCPC announced clearance of a three-to-two merger among Irish providers of commercial…

After an 18 month investigation involving officials from both the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) and Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecution, and a first-ever criminal prosecution, a company that gun-jumped Irish merger control rules avoided criminal conviction by agreement to donate €2,000 to charity, following a guilty plea. Irish competition law renders it a…

In every investment property transaction, investors and their advisers need to consider the potential requirement for approval of the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “CCPC”) before the transaction can proceed.  With recent changes to the notification thresholds, we highlight the questions to be asked and the issues to be aware of in navigating…

1. More Deals Receive More Scrutiny Of 98 deals notified, 11 received extended CCPC review (including 4 Phase 2 reviews) – the most extended reviews ever conducted by the CCPC in a single year. While no deal was blocked outright, 5 were cleared conditional on CCPC-approved remedies, including, in one case, a business divestment remedy….

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) held recently in Apple Sales International v MJA acting as liquidator of eBizcuss.com[1] that claims alleging abuse of a dominant position could come within the terms of a jurisdiction clause even where the clause did not expressly refer to claims based on competition law.   Relevant Rules The rules…

Following a guilty plea to criminal bid-rigging and obstruction charges, a company director was fined €7,500 by an Irish judge on 31 May and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment (suspended – meaning no jail time).   The executive was also barred from acting as a company director for five years, while the company involved was fined…

What light does the European Commission’s much anticipated 130-page decision, published Monday, 19 December 2016, shed on the Commission’s case and the parties’ prospects for appeal? In the second of a series of short blogs on the Apple case, here’s a quick-look review and comment on the Commission’s decision. We know now that the Commission’s…

Are perceptions of increased pushback in Brussels and Washington on international combinations reflected in Irish enforcement?  What change (if any) does new management at the Irish agency herald, how did Ireland’s most controversial deal of the year fare in Brussels, and what important change might a remedies settlement in August 2016 signal?  Answers below!  …

“Improper and plainly undermines legal certainty and the rule of law.”  This is how four U.S. senators – including the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – recently described the European Commission’s State aid investigation into tax rulings by Member States, including into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple. Of course the…

Longstanding CCPC dawn raid practice to copy electronic data (including entire email accounts) for later off-site review by investigators is unlawful according to a recent ruling of the Irish Competition Court.  Bulk copying of e-files “will almost certainly, perhaps inevitably” capture material outside the scope of any investigation, the court found.  Accordingly, CCPC search of…