Ireland’s competition watchdog has begun a formal investigation of “suspected breaches of competition law” in the ticketing of live events.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC) said its investigation would focus in the main on potentially anti-competitive conduct by operators including those involved in providing tickets and ticketing services, promoters and venues.

The organisation has already issued witness summonses and formal requirements for information to a number of parties involved in the sector.

The CCPC has the power to begin civil or criminal enforcement proceedings where evidence of breaches of competition law is found.

“The CCPC welcomes contacts from parties in the sector who may have information that they feel is relevant to the investigation,” the CPCC said in a statement.

Earlier this month, U2 fans expressed outrage after tickets to the band’s concert at Dublin’s Croke Park in July appeared on resale websites within minutes of going on general sale for up to 10 times their face value.

The launch of the investigation was welcomed by politician Noel Rock, who is preparing to introduce legislation on the issue.

“Full credit goes to Deputy Stephen Donnelly for raising this matter with the CCPC,” Rock told the Irish Sun. “We promised that we would fight this on behalf of consumers and to ensure the best consumer protection standards were adhered to, and are satisfied that the CCPC also sees this as significant enough to be worthy of a full investigation.”

The UK’s competition launched a probe into the secondary ticketing sector towards the end of last year.