31 July 2014 – Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today announced that the Irish Competition Authority and National Consumer Agency will merge on 31 October 2014.

The new body will be called the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ("CCPC").

The merger had been announced some years ago but detailed legislation had to be enacted before the merger could occur. The legislation, entitled the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, has been signed by the President and awaits implementation.  The Minister will bring the Act into force by way of Statutory Instruments which he will sign over time. It is expected that he will sign two Statutory Instruments this week allowing for the merger to occur and for a number of provisions of the new Act to come into force.

Commenting on the proposed merger, Dr Vincent Power, Competition Partner at A&L Goodbody, said: "this merger will prove very interesting. There will inevitably be an increased focus on consumer products by the merged entity but those businesses which do not deal with consumers directly should take no comfort from that. The experience of competition agencies worldwide is that no sector is immune from competition investigation. The Irish Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency have been working away on various matters but probably have not had as high a profile in recent years as earlier or as some of their counterparts internationally so this merger will probably prompt further and more high profile activity by the merged entity. We expect to see a great deal of the CCPC in Irish commercial life!"

Date published: 31 July 2014