Tuesday 26 September 2017

Beefed-up watchdog probed RTE and NAMA

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

The Competition Authority said it investigated both the National Asset Management Agency and RTE last year as it seeks to bolster competition and stamp out cartels.

Both organisations were found to be operating inside the law although RTE was forced to change the way it sells ads the previous year. The probe into NAMA followed several complaints over the past three years alleging that it abused its dominant position in the hotel and golf course sectors. The complaints were not upheld.

Recently appointed chairwoman Isolde Goggin said yesterday that the authority is looking forward to more success this year now that it has more staff and a permanent boss. The troika has repeatedly complained that the authority does not have enough manpower and forced the Government to boost the number of experts at the agency.

The authority made the comments as it unveiled a report on last year's activities which also included the successful prosecution of 18 people linked to an oil cartel.

The final prosecution in the long-running case was secured with the conviction of Pat Hegarty in the Galway Circuit Court last May.

The authority also hailed the decision to prevent the acquisition of book wholesaler Argosy by Eason.

The authority received 233 complaints last year including 13 new complaints of alleged criminal-cartel behaviour.

Irish Independent

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