Business Irish

Monday 20 November 2017

Irish Competition Authority goes on five-star junket

The five-star Palmeraie Golf Palace in Marrakech has an 18-hole course
The five-star Palmeraie Golf Palace in Marrakech has an 18-hole course

Roisin Burke

Irish Competition Authority executive Stephen Calkins spent much of last week at the five-star Palmeraie Golf Palace in Marrakech for the International Competition Network's annual three-day conference beano.

The €130-a-night hotel is located "in a green setting in the middle of the palm groves . . . it is a place of calm and relaxation", the conference website says.

"The complex offers a full range of services for your comfort by combining traditional Moroccan expertise and a contemporary palace."

Social activities during the event include a traditional tea ceremony at the Palais Jbilates, a gala dinner for attendees and their spouses and sightseeing tours of the city.

European Commission competition commissioner Joaquin Alumnia is one of the dignitaries attending.

Calkins was appointed to the authority by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton in 2012, along with Gerald Fitzgerald and Patrick Kenny and is director of its mergers division. A law professor, he has a background in competition enforcement and consumer law.

Recent research by law firm A&L Goodbody found that the Irish Competition Authority has blocked just three merger transactions over the last decade. Out of the 600-plus deals it has reviewed since 2003, just three of these were prohibited.

Recent high-profile potential deals coming under the remit of the authority include the proposed liquidator sale of Buy and Sell and the proposed sale of O2 Ireland to Hutchinson Whampoa.

Sunday Indo Business

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