Chwilio Deddfwriaeth

Enterprise Act 2002

Investigation powers
Section 174: Investigation powers of OFT

388.This section provides that the OFT should have investigative powers while it is considering whether to make a market investigation reference. These powers correspond more closely to those available to the CC in market investigations, than to the powers available to the OFT before it makes a monopoly reference under section 44 FTA 1973.

Section 175: Enforcement of powers under section 174: offences

389.This section sets out the enforcement powers that the OFT will have in relation to their general investigative powers under section 174. It provides that a person commits an offence where he or she intentionally fails to comply with a notice or he or she intentionally alters, suppresses or destroys documents that he or she has been required to produce. The punishment for either of these offences may be a fine and/or imprisonment. The section also sets out that it is an offence for a person to intentionally obstruct or delay the OFT or any person in carrying out their investigative functions under section 174 – this offence is punishable by fine only.

Section 176: Investigation powers of the Commission

390.The investigation powers for the markets regime are described in more detail in the explanatory notes on the merger regime (see notes on merger sections 109-117). These sections set out the powers the CC will have to require persons to give evidence, and to provide specified documents and information needed for the purposes of a markets inquiry. There are close similarities with the investigatory powers currently provided under section 85 FTA 1973, but with one significant change. The CC's FTA 1973 power to initiate contempt proceedings against persons who fail to comply with notices requiring the production of documents and information, and the attendance of witnesses, is replaced with a power for the CC to impose monetary penalties for non-compliance (see notes on sections 111-116).

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