Reports on modification referencesN.I.
16.—(1) In making a report on a reference under Article 15, the[F1 Competition Commission]
(a)shall include in the report definite conclusions on the questions comprised in the reference together with such an account of their reasons for those conclusions as in their opinion is expedient for facilitating a proper understanding of those questions and of their conclusions;
(b)where they conclude that any of the matters specified in the reference operate, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest, shall specify in the report the effects adverse to the public interest which those matters have or may be expected to have; and
(c)where they conclude that any adverse effects so specified could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the relevant conditions, shall specify in the report modifications by which those effects could be remedied or prevented.
[F2(1A) For the purposes of[F3 Articles 17 and 17A], a conclusion contained in a report of the Competition Commission is to be disregarded if the conclusion is not that of at least two-thirds of the members of the group constituted in connection with the reference concerned in pursuance of paragraph 15 of Schedule 7 to the Competition Act 1998.
(1B) If a member of a group so constituted disagrees with any conclusions contained in a report made on a reference under Article 15 as the conclusions of the Competition Commission, the report shall, if the member so wishes, include a statement of his disagreement and of his reasons for disagreeing.]
Para. (2) rep. by 1998 c. 41
[F4(3) For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any report made by the Competition Commission on a reference under Article 15.
(3A) In making any report on a reference under Article 15 the Competition Commission must have regard to the following considerations before disclosing any information.
(3B) The first consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable) any information whose disclosure the Competition Commission thinks is contrary to the public interest.
(3C) The second consideration is the need to exclude from disclosure (so far as practicable)—
(a)commercial information whose disclosure the Competition Commission thinks might significantly harm the legitimate business interests of the undertaking to which it relates, or
(b)information relating to the private affairs of an individual whose disclosure the Competition Commission thinks might significantly harm the individual's interests.
(3D) The third consideration is the extent to which the disclosure of the information mentioned in paragraph (3C)(a) or (b) is necessary for the purposes of the report.]
(4) A report of the[F1 Competition Commission] on a reference under Article 15 shall be made to the Director.
(5) Subject to paragraph (7), the Director shall—
(a)on receiving a report on a reference under Article 15(1), send a copy of it to the licence holder and to the Department; and
(b)not less than 14 days from the day on which the Department receives that copy, publish the report in such manner as he considers appropriate for bringing the report to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.
(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the Director shall—
(a)on receiving a report on a reference under Article 15(2), send a copy of it to the Department; and
(b)not less than 14 days from the day on which the Department receives that copy—
(i)send another copy to each relevant licence holder; and
(ii)not less than 24 hours after complying with head (i), publish the report in such manner as he considers appropriate for bringing the report to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.
(7) If it appears to the Department that the publication of any matter in such a report would be against the public interest or the commercial interests of any person, the Department may, before the end of the period of 14 days mentioned in paragraph (5)(b) or (6)(b), direct the Director to exclude that matter from every copy of the report to be published or (as the case may be) sent and published under that sub-paragraph.
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