Press release

Joint meeting of competition authorities

The competition and consumer authorities of the UK and the Republic of Ireland will meet for the first time on 23 June, in Belfast.

The leaders of the Republic of Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will meet to discuss competition and consumer issues, including cross-border aspects.

The CMA is holding its board meeting on 23 June. The board is meeting in Northern Ireland for the first time since its launch last year and during that day and on 22 June, members will hold talks with the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and representatives from organisations including Invest Northern Ireland, Ofcom, the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, the Institute of Directors and the CBI.

These meetings will focus on explaining the CMA’s current priorities and on hearing about opportunities and concerns felt by consumer and business representatives and others in Northern Ireland.

CMA Chairman, David Currie said:

Northern Ireland is a key focus for the CMA which is why I and our Chief Executive, Alex Chisholm visited very early in the creation of the CMA. It is also why we are so keen to meet government, business and consumer groups and learn what issues are of concern to them and discuss how competition can help the Northern Ireland economy to prosper.

In addition we also recognise that Northern Ireland is unique, in the UK context, as it shares a land border with another jurisdiction and many businesses operate across the border. The first ever joint meeting with our counterpart in the Republic of Ireland will allow us to discuss this and other areas of mutual interest.

Isolde Goggin, Chair of the CCPC, said:

Both the CMA and the CCPC are relatively new organisations which have committed to making markets work better for consumers and businesses. Sharing our experiences will add to our understanding of markets and so realise that commitment to a greater extent. We look forward to developing and deepening our relationship with the CMA in coming years.

CMA staff have been working with NI businesses and government officials on a range of issues which earlier this month resulted in 2 workshops in Belfast at which public sector buyers and suppliers were given guidance on ensuring that competition for government contracts benefits the economy.

Notes for editors

  1. To arrange interviews with David Currie or for further information please contact Simon Belgard (simon.belgard@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6472).
  2. On 1 April 2014 the CMA became the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. It took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  3. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission was formed on 31 October 2014 following the amalgamation of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency. The Commission has a dual mandate to enforce competition and consumer protection law in Ireland.
  4. For more information see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn.