CCPC bulks up, designates government procurement as an “area of interest” and probes grocery pricing It has recently been reported in the Irish press that a formal investigation into pricing in the groceries sector has been launched by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “CCPC”).
The press report notes that concerns have been raised about prices paid to suppliers. Regarding market shares, the press report goes on to say that “the three big players” each have a market share of over 20%, while Aldi and Lidl each have a market share of almost 10%. The press report does not identify which retailer or retailers are being investigated.
It has also been reported that the CCPC are preparing to beef up its staff by almost a third, by hiring an additional 25 people in the coming months (including hiring new investigators). The press report goes on to note that the CPCC has designated government procurement as an “area of interest”.
Section 4 of the Irish Competition Act 2002 (as amended) prohibits agreements, decisions and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in trade in any goods or services in the State including price-fixing.