Volume 31 (2008) / Issue 2
In a unanimous judgment handed down on 8 May 2007, Ireland’s Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) against a High Court judgment that ILCU had abused a dominant position. The Irish Competition Authority had alleged that ILCU had abused its dominant position in the market for savings protection services (SPS) by limiting access to SPS services to its own members. The Authority claimed that this amounted to tying as credit unions wishing to obtain SPS services were required to also purchase credit union representation services from ILCU and that such tying amounted to an abuse of dominance by ILCU. This was the first abuse of dominance case brought by the Competition Authority to go to a full hearing, the first to be appealed to the Supreme Court and the first Irish case under EC Regulation 1/2003. The judgment clarified a number of important issues. The case raised a number of economic issues, which are of interest in the context of the debate on the need for a more economics based approach to Article 82. It has led to some significant innovations in the hearing of competition cases by the Irish courts.
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