The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the national competent authority responsible for merger review in Ireland, just published its Annual Report for 2017.
The report provides an insight into how the CCPC has operated during the calendar year 2017 and its areas of priority for the coming years. Of particular interest, are the growing trends in the sphere of merger control in Ireland.
Irish merger control regime
One of the CCPC ‘s statutory functions under Part 3 of the Competition Act 2002 (as amended), is to review mergers that meet certain thresholds and ensure that proposed transactions do not lead to negative implications for consumers, through a substantial lessening of competition in any market for goods and services in the State.
The Annual Report outlines the CCPC’s activity in this area in 2017.
Merger notifications and determinations
A media merger is one where at least one of the parties carries out a media business in Ireland. All media mergers must be notified separately to both the CCPC and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. This applies regardless of the turnover of the parties involved.
The report shows that the following four media mergers were notified: The Color Company TM / Certain assets of Irish TV; Landmark Digita l/ BenchWarmers; Bay Broadcasting / Classic Rock Broadcasting t/a Radio Nova; and Irish Times / Irish Examiner.
Unconditional determinations were issued in respect of The Color Company TM / certain assets of Irish TV and Landmark Digita l/ BenchWarmers and the remaining two, Bay Broadcasting / Classic Rock Broadcasting and Irish Times / Irish Examiner, were still under investigation at the end of 2017.
The full report is available here.
Marco Hickey is Partner and Head of the EU, Competition and Regulated Markets team at LK Shields Solicitors. Marco is the author of Merger Control in Ireland published by Thomson Reuters, which is the first book exclusively devoted to merger control in Ireland.