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For earlier reports see Compecon's News Archive.

Competition Economics Blog.    

Dublin 10th October - Public Health Alcohol Bill Finally enacted.

The Public Health Alcohol Bill was passed by the Seanad thus completing its passage through the Oireachtas. It has taken three years for the legislation to be finally passed. The legislation provides inter aliia for the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol which will peversely increase drink industry profits and, according to Oireachtas Library & Research Service, reduce Government excise duty receipts.

Dublin 2nd October - National Transport Authority (NTA) Announces Proposals for Licensing State Bus Companies' PSO Routes.

The NTA has launched a public consultation on proposals for licensing of PSO routes currently operated by the State owned Bus Companies, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann. The NTA is proposing that Dublin Bus would retain its existing PSO service levels at 2019 levels at least, and that there should be no further tendering of Dublin Bus routes before 2024. The NTA is, however, proposing that some Bus Eireann routes, mainly involving its commuter routes into Dublin shoudl be put out to tender in 2021.

Dublin 2nd October - New Wholesale Electricity Market Goes Live.

The new integrated single electricity market officially “went live” with suppliers trading electricity on the new system. The new system is meant to favour the cheaper and more efficient generators and open Ireland up to imported power from other EU Member States. It has been claimed that the new arrangements could cut Irish energy bills by up to €200 millioin.

Dublin 2nd October - Minister Announces Increase in Merger Notification Thresholds.

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. has signed an Order increasing the turnover thresholds above which mergers must be notified to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for approval before they can be implemented. The Order provides that mergers must be notified when the aggregate turnover of undertakings involved in a proposed merger or acquisition is greater than €60 million (up from €50 million) and two or more of the undertakings involved each has an individual turnover of more than €10 million (up from €3 million).

Dublin 28th September - CCPC Calls for Establishment of Waste Industry Regulator.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission published its report assessing the household waste collection market. The CCPC’s report found that Ireland was unusual among EU Member States in having competition in the market for household waste collection with waste operators able to offer their services in any location, subject to licensing. The CCPC found that the household waste collection market exhibits characteristics of a natural monopoly, including strong local economies of density and scale, high fixed costs and a large cost advantage for a single operator.

Journal of Sports Economics 1st July - Study Finds Consumers Did Not Benefit from Greater "Competition" in Televised Football Market.

A new study has found that that the cost to UK subscribers of watching live FA Premier League (FAPL) football increased following the EU Commission's intervention which prevented a single broadcaster acquiring the rights to all live match broadcasts. The study which is published in the Journal of Sports Economics was written by Compecon Director Patrick Massey and Dr Robert Butler of UCC. Following the creation of the FAPL in 1992, British Sky Broadcasting secured a monopoly on live broadcasting rights. From the start of the 2007-2008 season, the FAPL agreed to split its live match broadcasts into six packages of matches with no individual broadcaster allowed to purchase more than 5 of the 6, following objections by the EU Commission. The study found that both the overall cost to consumers and the price per game are higher with competing broadcasters than was the case when Sky had a monopoly on live FAPL matches. Effectively the Commission intervention has created two monopolies instead of one. The paper argues that further measures are needed to create genuine competition in the market for live televising of FAPL matches. Click here to access a copy of the paper.

For earlier reports see Compecon's News Archive.