Ireland Implements New Legislation To Enhance Competition Law Enforcement

Author:Van Bael Bellis
Profession:Van Bael & Bellis

On 3 July 2012, Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, signed a Commencement Order which brought into force the provisions of the Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 ("the Act"). The new legislation, initially proposed in September 2011 (see VBB on Competition Law, Vol 2011, No 9, available at, is intended to bolster the powers of the Irish Competition Authority and to reinforce the general enforcement of competition law, particularly in relation to fines.

The Act increases the maximum fines for criminal convictions resulting from hard-core offences from € 4 million to € 5 million. Fines for summary convictions for certain competition offences are increased from € 3,000 to € 5,000. The maximum daily penalty for continuing contraventions of orders have risen from € 300 to € 500 for summary convictions and from € 40,000 to € 50,000 for convictions on indictment.

The Act also provides that jail sentences for criminal convictions relating to anti-competitive agreements and practices shall be doubled from 5 to 10 years and makes it possible for the...

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