Thursday, 17 November 2016
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
262. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources further to Parliamentary Question No. 533 of 27 September 2016 to outline his views on the ruling of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on a sale (details supplied); his plans to give this sale the go-ahead; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35541/16]
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is an independent body with a separate role and remit in relation to Media Mergers. It would not be appropriate for me to provide any comment on its ruling on this matter. The proposed purchase has been cleared by the CCPC on competition grounds and it must now be notified to me as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The deadline for this notification is 24 November 2016. Following this notification my Department has 30 working days to conduct an initial assessment of the case on media plurality grounds.
It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the case until that process and my Department's initial assessment is completed. I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 862 of 27 September 2017 which outlines how the Media Mergers regime functions.
In accordance with the Guidelines on Media Mergers, my Department facilitates pre-notification meetings with the parties to a proposed media merger. The purpose of such meetings is to answer questions the parties may have about the media mergers process and the notification form.
I can inform the Deputy that an initial pre-notification meeting was held with the legal representatives of the parties to the proposed transaction on 22 September 2016 and a further pre-notification meeting was held on 11 November 2016.