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Home > Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014: Second stage.

[Oireachtas] Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014: Second stage. (16 Apr 2014)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


This Bill, which is major reforming legislation, has three main objectives. First, as part of the programme of reform we are implementing across my Department, it will merge the National Consumer Agency, NCA, and the Competition Authority to create a powerful body with real teeth acting to protect and vindicate consumers' rights. New criminal investigation functions are being added to the significant powers that already exist in order to combat serious white collar crime and improve competitiveness and protect consumers.  

Second, we are introducing strong regulations and enforcement powers to ensure fairness between suppliers and retailers in the grocery goods sector. There is potentially an inequality between these players that could be abused in a manner that would not be in the interests of jobs, consumers or sustainable safe food. Relationships will continue to be based on commerce and prices will continue to be set by hard negotiations. This is in the interests of consumers. 

Third, diversity of content and ownership across the media remains an important part of a healthy democratic society. We are retaining the basic model of current laws, which is based on the principle of avoiding intervention by the Government in media ownership except in specific circumstances following procedures determined by law. This is in keeping with the recommendations of the advisory group established to examine this matter. However, it is important to modernise these laws to reflect international best practice and the latest technological developments. For this reason, we are implementing in full the advisory group's recommendations, with some enhancements, and making important changes to update laws in this area.....

[For the full debate, click on the link above]

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