The Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014: 5 Important Changes to Irish Media Merger Control

The Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (the Act) came into force on 31 October 2014. The Act significantly alters the rules for media mergers in this jurisdiction.  The reason is to curb control of the media by a small number of media moguls.

If yours is a ‘media business’ which is involved in newspaper or periodical publishing, broadcasting, providing news content to a broadcasting service or news websites and either (a) has a physical presence in Ireland or (b) has annual sales in Ireland in excess of €2m then your business is obliged to seek consent from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of any merger with another media business.

Below are 5 changes to the law that every Irish media business needs to know about this Act: –

  1. The Act requires dual notification of media mergers: (i) to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the CCPC) and (ii) the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (the Minister).
  2. The media merger can only be notified to the Minster after the CCPC has given its consent.
  3. For the merger to be notifiable, at least one of the media businesses must have a physical presence in Ireland or make sales in excess of €2m to customers located in the State.
  4. All media mergers must be notified by the media businesses that fit the criteria set out above. Notification of the merger must be sent to the Minister within 10 working days of the CCPC giving its consent.
  5. Failure to notify the Minister can result in fines of up to €250,000

Contact Mark Roberts for more information.

Disclaimer

This publication is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Ogier Leman for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.

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