230 complaints to competition body

The Competition Authority received 233 complaints last year, up from 212 in 2011.

The complaints received in 2012 included 13 about alleged criminal cartel behaviour and 127 about anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominance.

The authority’s 2012 report, published yesterday, shows it received 33 merger notifications and made 30 merger determinations last year.

There were 40 mergers notified to it in 2011 and 46 in 2010.

The report also shows that the authority carried out 10 searches in the course of its enforcement work last year.

Last December the authority used new competition legislation for the first time to secure a court order in relation to commitments made by Brazil Body Sportswear, the distributors of FitFlops in Ireland.

The order means that Brazil Body Sportwear will be in contempt of court if it breaches the agreement.

The Competition (Amendment) Act 2012 increases penalties for competition offences, allows the court to make a convicted person liable for the cost of authority investigations and makes it easier for injured parties to take follow-on actions.

Following a probe by the author-ity, Showjumping Ireland agreed to amend one of its rules that had the effect of preventing members from competing in unaffiliated events.

The action was taken by the authority because it believed the rule was likely to infringe section 4 of the Competition Act.

Last year the authority was given the go-ahead for a staff increase after several years of declining staff numbers.

“We look forward to being able to boost our enforcement once the new staff come on board in 2013,” the authority said.


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