Competition Act, 1991

Investigation of abuse of dominant position.

14.—(1) Where the Minister is of the opinion that there is, contrary to section 5 , an abuse of a dominant position he may request the Authority to carry out an investigation and the Authority shall comply with the request.

(2) Where the Authority holds an investigation pursuant to a request under subsection (1) it shall report thereon to the Minister and the report shall state whether in the opinion of the Authority—

(a) a dominant position exists, and

(b) if it does, whether that dominant position is being abused.

(3) The Minister, having considered a report of the Authority under subsection (2), may, if the interests of the common good so warrant, after consultation with any other Minister of the Government concerned, by order either—

(a) prohibit the continuance of the dominant position except on conditions specified in the order, or

(b) require the adjustment of the dominant position, in a manner and within a period specified in the order, by a sale of assets or otherwise as he may specify.

(4) An order under this section shall state the reasons for making the order.

(5) The Minister may by order revoke an order under this section and may, with the agreement of every enterprise concerned, amend an order under this section.

(6) An order under this section shall not have effect unless and until it is confirmed by a resolution of each House of the Oireachtas.

(7) References in sections 12 and 13 of the Act of 1978 to section 11 of that Act shall be construed as references to this section and the expression “monopoly” shall be construed as a reference to an abuse of a dominant position.

(8) Compliance with an order under this section shall be a good defence to an action under section 6 in respect of any period after such compliance, in so far as such action is in respect of any matter which is the subject of such compliance.

(9) A right of action for relief under section 6 includes a right of action for contravention of an order under this section.

(10) The Minister shall publish a report under subsection (2), with due regard to commercial confidentiality, within two months of its being furnished to him by the Authority.

(11) Sections 10 and 11 of the Act of 1978 are hereby repealed.