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Changes to Competition Law

PRACTICE AREA GROUP: EU, Competition and Regulatory
DATE: 04.07.2012

The Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 was signed into law on 20 June 2012 and now requires the making of the necessary Commencement Orders by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The main purpose of the legislation is to strengthen competition law enforcement and provide for new and increased sanctions and penalties.

The Act includes provisions to distinguish between private enforcement and public enforcement of civil actions with regard to competition law and provides for separate public enforcement provisions to be taken by the Competition Authority.

The Act amends section 160 of the Companies Act 1990.  This will allow a Court either on its own motion or on foot of an application to it from either the Competition Authority or ComReg to order that a person shall not be appointed as a company director as a result of an infringement of offences under the Competition Act 2002 – other than indictable offences which already result in automatic disqualification.  The Act also aligns certain fines with the classifications contained in the Fines Act 2010.

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