This conviction was the most recent successful criminal prosecution stemming from a series of criminal price fixing charges brought by the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions against 24 defendants across the west of Ireland in the home heating oil industry, following an investigation by the Irish Competition Agency that included multiple raids. The charges were brought under Ireland's 1996 Competition Act, which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years in prison and fines of up to the greater of €3.8 million or 10% of turnover. The Competition Act was revised in 2002, and prosecutions brought under the new Act carry more substantial penalties, including a maximum jail sentence of five years. On April 19, 2006, following an investigation by the Irish Competition Authority, the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions brought its first case charging a violation under the amended Competition Act against a Cork businessman for aiding Ford dealers to fix their car prices.
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