Dáil Éireann - Volume 484 - 09 December, 1997
Written Answers. - Fair Trade Practices.
Mr. Gormley Mr. Gormley
 89. Mr. Gormley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the proposals, if any, she will make towards the adoption of fair trade principles as a priority of Government policy. [22014/97]
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Miss Harney) Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Miss Harney)
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Miss Harney): Such principles are currently enshrined in our competition legislation comprising the Competition Act 1991 and the Competition (Amendment) Act, 1996. The legislation is based by analogy on articles 85 and 86 of the Treaty of Rome and is the cornerstone of our domestic competition policy.
The Independent Competition Authority was established under the 1991 Act in order to implement competition legislation. Initially, its principal function was to adjudicate on agreements and arrangements notified to it by undertakings but since 1996 the authority has a proactive public enforcement function also. The Director of Competition Enforcement has been appointed with appropriate resources in order to give effect to the public enforcement provisions of the legislation.
There is currently further work ongoing in this area. The competition and mergers review group established in September 1996 has the following terms of reference: to review and make recommendations on the mergers legislation in the context of a legislative consolidation; the effectiveness of competition legislation and associated regulations; cultural matters in the context of the 1991 Act and in particular section 4(2) of that Act; and appropriate structures for implementing the above legislation.
The group may commission detailed sectoral studies as required and will also, in its work, review the evolution of competition policy at EU and global level.
The primary purpose of the review group is to make recommendations designed to further improve our competition regime in terms of its legislative provisions and its structures. The treatment of mergers under competition law and the consolidation and improvement of mergers legislation will be central to this work.
The group will also review the Competition Acts, 1991 and 1996 in terms of their effectiveness, including the strucutures and methods of application.
The group will also review the position of the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987, particularly the below cost selling aspects of the order and make appropriate recommendations in this regard for the future. The group expects to report to me in 1998.
Dáil Éireann 484 Written Answers. Fair Trade Practices.