A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement Group has unrivalled experience and expertise in Ireland  advising on immunity applicants, participants, victims and third parties on all aspects of cartels.

Cartels involve:

  • price-fixing arrangements
  • agreements to divide/ share the market (e.g. sharing customers/territories)
  • bid-rigging and collusive tendering
  • agreements to limit production, control the amount of goods or services being provided.

Anti-competitive conduct such as cartels can come to light due to:

  • a discovery made internally within the business (e.g. during an audit or an employment dispute)
  • an investigation by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the European Commission or another competent authority
  • whistleblowing within the business
  • admission by participants.

We work with clients to devise solutions and strategies within the rules of EU, Irish and other national and international laws. We provide clear advice on the wider implications, including reputational risks,the possibility of enforcement action by multiple authorities and follow-on claims for damages.

With over three decades of experience in these matters, we are skilled in dealing with complex investigations by Irish and EU regulators. This experience has enabled us to consistently achieve successful outcomes for our clients on a range of aspects related to cartel activity including:

  • Internal investigations within the business or association
  • Immunity and leniency applications
  • Civil and criminal aspects of an investigation by the CCPC and/or European Commission, including the risk of fines and personal liability
  • The investigative powers of the CCPC and European Commission
  • Dawn raids and requests for documentation
  • The trial process, defending proceedings and challenging the relevant competition authority before the courts
  • Bringing and defending actions for damages following on from decisions of the relevant competition authority

We work with our clients to avoid the risk of becoming involved in anti-competitive conduct through the provision of comprehensive compliance advice and programmes. Read more here.