The Competition and Consumer Protection Act came into force on 31 October 2014, creating the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. It gives us a dual mandate to enforce consumer and competition law. It also brought changes to the merger review regime and provides new powers to regulate certain practices in the grocery goods sector.
Mergers and acquisitions are used by businesses as a way to grow and compete. However, some mergers can have a negative effect on consumers by reducing competition, resulting in higher prices or reduced choice for consumers. Mergers of companies with a turnover above a certain threshold must be notified to us.
Anti-competitive agreements, decisions or concerted practices are prohibited under law. These may be between firms that are competitors, or who are connected through a chain of distribution. We seek to end this type of behaviour through commitments from the parties involved or can go to the High Court to seek an injunction.
We are responsible for enforcing a wide range of legislation aimed at protecting consumers. These cover transactions between businesses and consumers across all sectors of the economy. Consumer protection legislation creates rights for consumers and imposes corresponding obligations on traders that must be honoured.
We have enforcement powers under the Consumer Protection Act 2007 as amended. We publish a Consumer Protect List on a regular basis that gives details of the traders against whom enforcement actions have been taken by us for breaches of consumer protection law.