Tuesday, 23 May 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
330. Ms C. Murphy asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the action which is open to him in the event of a housing estate management company requiring house owners to subscribe to an insurance company nominated by the management company which excludes the possibility of shopping around; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19661/06]
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. Martin): The Competition Act 2002 prohibits anti-competitive arrangements between “undertakings” and the abuse of a dominant position by undertakings. From the information provided, it appears that this issue may relate to an alleged restriction on competition.
The Competition Authority is an independent statutory body responsible for the enforcement of competition law in the State. Any evidence of an alleged breach of competition law should be referred to the Authority at Parnell House, 14 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. The Authority also accepts complaints by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Authority’s website —www.tca.ie— provides more information in this regard.
It is not clear, however, how a management company could prevent a householder from shopping around for insurance cover. While I am aware that such companies may seek quotations for insurance on behalf of their members, this is generally for the purpose of obtaining a more competitive quote for house owners, who would then be free to take out insurance with that insurance company, or any other from which they had separately obtained a quote.
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