Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD has formally announced the formation of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the new statutory body that amalgamates the Competition Authority and National Consumer Agency.
Commenting at yesterday’s launch, Minister Bruton said: “This is a major step forward for consumer rights in Ireland. We now have a powerful watchdog, with a wide range of consumer competition and criminal law powers at its disposal, acting on behalf of the consumer in Ireland.
"Today’s announcement will make a real difference to the Irish consumer, and marks the culmination of many years of policy focus – in opposition and Government – on the consumer rights agenda.”
Among the responsibilities of the Commission will be to ensure that regulations governing the grocery goods sector (which are still to be finalised by the Minister) are met with compliance, and that ‘balance and fairness’ are exerted by retailers and suppliers operating in the sector.
“We recognize the importance of the grocery sector to every consumer in Ireland and to the many businesses involved in the sector,” said Isolde Goggin, who has been appointed Chair of the new commission. “In addition to our existing economy-wide remit and powers, we will have additional responsibilities in relation to the supply and sale of grocery goods following the publication of the regulations by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation”.
Goggin added: “Competition benefits everyone: consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole. We will address unnecessary barriers to competition and will support markets where businesses actively compete. We will not hesitate to use our powers where we have evidence that anti-competitive behaviour is occurring.
“Promoting competition, tackling anti-competitive practices and enforcing consumer law have the same ultimate goal – to protect consumers, and that is at the heart of our role”.
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