Business Irish

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Competition tsars appeal CRH case to Supreme Court

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

CRH boss Albert Manifold is Ireland’s best-paid CEO with a basic annual salary of €1.4m — but with options and bonuses, he’s looking at €8.2m a year
CRH boss Albert Manifold is Ireland’s best-paid CEO with a basic annual salary of €1.4m — but with options and bonuses, he’s looking at €8.2m a year

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is to appeal directly to the Supreme Court a High Court decision restraining it from using certain material that was seized during a dawn raid of CRH subsidiary Irish Cement.

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Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled in April that the CCPC was not entitled to access, review or use material in a crh.com email account of CRH executive Seamus Lynch that was unrelated to Irish Cement.

The CCPC had seized the entire inbox and while some of the material was likely to be relevant to the investigation, Judge Barrett said that on the balance of probabilities there would almost certainly be material that was not covered by the terms of the CCPC's search warrant.

Now the CCPC has been granted leave by the Court of Appeal to take the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

It would not comment further on the case.

The legal battle sprung out of an investigation into alleged abuse of a dominant position by Irish Cement in the supply of bagged cement in Ireland, which the CCPC is continuing, notwithstanding the High Court ruling.

The investigation saw a premises at Platin, Co Meath, raided by a CCPC team on the morning of May 14 last year.

Before the case came to court CRH said it was co-operating fully with the investigation but wanted certain material back.

Among the documents seized was one headed "estimated cost of Ecocem", the High Court heard.

Ecocem is a rival of Irish Cement.

Bypassing the Court of Appeal means the matter will likely see a final resolution quicker than would otherwise have been the case.

Sunday Indo Business

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