Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA)
Guernsey
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Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA)

Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRA)

Guernsey

Guernsey: from the enforcer

Address: Suite 4, 1st floor, la Plaiderie Chambers, la Plaiderie, St Peter Port, Guernsey GYl lWG
Tel: 01481 711120
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gcra.gg

Contacts

Michael Byrne
Title : Chief Executive

Questions and answers

How long is the head of agency's term of office?

Michael Byrne was appointed in 2014. Chris Bolt, Chairman, was appointed on 1 July 2020.

When is he or she due for reappointment?

Michael Byrne's current term expires on 23 July 2014.

Which posts within the organisation are political appointments?

The Chairman is appointed by the States of Deliberation in Guernsey on the recommendation of the Department/or Economic Development. All other appointments are made by the Department for Economic Development on the recommendation of the Chairman.

What is the agency's annual budget?

The total budget for the Guernsey Competition & Regulatory Authority (GCRAI was £1,296,500, of which £300,000 related to competition law functions.

How many staff are employed by the agency?

There are currently six members of staff in Guernsey.

To whom does the head of the agency report?

Committee for Economic Development.

Do any industry-specific regulators have competition powers?

No.

If so, how do these relate to your agency's role?

The GCRA regulates the telecoms and electricity sectors. It applies industry-specific competition provisions in these sectors as well as the general competition legislation .

May politicians overrule or disregard authority’s decisions? If they have ever exercised this right, describe the most recent example.

The executive government has limit ed powers to grant exemptions both to individual entities and agreements and block exemptions on public policy grounds.

Does the law allow non-competition alms to be considered when your agency takes decisions?

The competition law in Guernsey requires the GCRA to consider public interest factors when making decisions on mergers.

Which body hears appeals against the agency's decisions? Is there any form of judicial review beyond that mentioned above? If so, which body conducts it? Has any competition decision by the agency been overturned?

Most decisions, under the competition legislation, can be appealed to the Royal Court in Guernsey. In some cases, only judicial review is available and those cases are also heard by the Royal Court.

Has the authority ever blocked a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instance.

No.

Has the authority ever imposed conditions on a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

Yes. Details can be found at www.gcra.gg.

Has the authority conducted a Phase II investigation in any of its merger filings? lf yes, please provide the most recent instances.

Yes, Details can be found at www.gcra.gg.

Has the authority ever pursued a company based outside your jurisdiction for a cartel offence? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

No.

Do you operate a leniency programme? Whom should potential applicants contact? What discounts are available to companies that cooperate with cartel investigations?

Yes. Applicants can contact the Chief Executive.

Is there a criminal enforcement track? If so, who is responsible for It? Does the authority conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions for cartel activity? If not, is there another authority in the country that does?

No.

Are there any plans to reform the competition law?

There are potential plans to reform the merger thresholds in Guernsey.

When did the last review of the law occur?

The Guernsey Competition Ordinance only came into effect in August 2012.

Do you have a separate economics team? If so, please give details.

No, although some staff and directors have qualifications in economics.

Has the authority conducted a dawn raid?

No.

Have the authority imposed penalties on officers or directors of companies for offences committed by the company? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

No.

What are the pre-merger notification thresholds, if any, for the buyer and seller involved in a merger?

Part Ill of the Guernsey Ordinance deals with mergers and acquisitions. The legislation provides that approval from the GCRA must be obtained before certain mergers and acquisitions are executed. It may refuse to approve a merger or acquisition if It is satisfied that it would substantially lessen competition. The GCRA is also required to satisfy itself that the merger or acquisition will not be prejudicial to consumers, the economic development or well-being of the Bailiwick and the public interest.

Section 13 11 of the Guernsey Ordinance provides that a merger or acquisition of a class or description prescribed by regulations of the Commerce and Employment Department is prohibited except with, and in accordance with, our approval. The Competition (Prescribed Mergers and Acquisitions) (Guernsey Regulations, 2012 require a merger or acquisition to be approved by us before being executed if:

  • the combined applicable turnover of the undertakings involved in the merger or acquisition arising in the Channel Islands exceeds £5 million; and
  • two or more of the undertakings involved in the merger or acquisition each have applicable turn-over in Guernsey that exceeds £2 million.

The method of calculating turnover for the purposes of these thresholds is prescribed in the Competition (Calculation of Turnover l

(Guemsey Regulations 2012).

Are there any restrictions on investments that involve less than a majority stake in the business?

There is no such restriction in the competition law of Guernsey.

Are there any restrictions on investments that involve less than a majority stake in the business?

No.

Economists

How many economists do you employ?

None.

Do you have a separate economics unit?

No.

Do you have a chief economist?

No.

To whom does the chief economist report?

N/A

Does the chief economist have the power to hire his or her own staff?

Not applicable.

How many of your economists have a PhD in industrial economics?

Not applicable.

Does the agency include a specialist economist on every case team? If not, why not?

Not applicable.

Is the economics unit a 'second pair of eyes' during cases - is it one of the agency's checks and balances? If not, why not?

Not applicable.

How much economics work is outsourced? What type of work is outsourced?

Not applicable.

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