The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has announced that the merger of the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority, which will create the new Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, will take place on 31 October.
The Commission, which the Department says will be 'a powerful consumer watchdog with real teeth', will combine the consumer, competition and criminal powers of the two agencies.
Commenting, Minister Bruton said, “I am very happy to sign these orders and commence this major piece of reforming legislation with effect from 31 October 2014. Firstly, it will establish the new Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. This will be a powerful body with real teeth acting with a wide range of consumer, competition and criminal law powers at its disposal to protect and vindicate consumers’ rights.
“Secondly, this law will allow us introduce strong Regulations and powerful new investigation and enforcement powers to ensure fairness between suppliers and retailers in the grocery goods sector. This will give effect to the Programme for Government commitment on this important issue. A consultation is currently ongoing on the precise content of those regulations with the various stakeholders who will be affected."
The legislation will also address the issue of media mergers, to bring them in line with European best practice.