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…

Introduction The collection of household waste (HHW) in Ireland is currently a private sector activity. Individual households contract with private operators for the provision of the service. Subject to fulfilling certain regulatory requirements any private operator can enter the HHW collection market and by offering better terms and conditions – competing on the merits –…

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…

Introduction The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is an independent statutory body charged with certain key regulatory responsibilities in respect of broadcasting services, including licensing and approval of changes in ownership and control.  The BAI is guided in making these decisions by its Ownership and Control Policy (the Policy).  The Policy gives practical effect to…

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….

Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) (www.ccpc.ie) has initiated a very welcome public consultation on possibly simplifying the merger control process.   Simplified procedure for Ireland? In a consultation paper, the CCPC asks whether there should be a “simplified procedure” for some notifications in Ireland (https://www.ccpc.ie/business/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/11/Simplified-Procedure-Consultation.pdf).  This would apply to deals which “clearly do…

Introduction In Ireland’s first bid-rigging case the Court of Appeal in its 20 June 2018 judgment decided that: (i) the €7,500 fine imposed by the Central Criminal Court on Brendan Smith was unduly lenient and raised it to €45,000; but (ii) that it was not unduly lenient of the Central Criminal Court to have imposed…

Introduction The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided to appeal the sentences imposed by the Central Criminal Court (the Court) on 31 May 2017 in Ireland’s first bid-rigging criminal cartel case. The grounds are “undue leniency” under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993. At first glance the case looks straightforward.  The sentence…

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…