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Fair Trading Act 1973

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I Introductory

    1. 1. Director General of Fair Trading.

    2. 2. General functions of Director.

    3. 3. Consumer Protection Advisory Committee.

    4. 4. The Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

    5. 5. Principal functions of Commission.

    6. 6. Monopoly situation in relation to supply of goods.

    7. 7. Monopoly situation in relation to supply of services.

    8. 8. Monopoly situation in relation to exports.

    9. 9. Monopoly situation limited to part of United Kingdom.

    10. 10. Supplementary provisions relating to ss. 6 to 9.

    11. 11. Meaning of “complex monopoly situation”.

    12. 12. Powers of Secretary of State in relation to functions of Director.

  3. Part II References to Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

    1. General provisions

      1. 13. Meaning of “consumer trade practice”.

      2. 14. General provisions as to references to Advisory Committee.

      3. 15. Exclusion from s. 14 in respect of certain services.

      4. 16. Restriction on references under s. 14 in respect of certain goods and services.

      5. 17. Reference to Advisory Committee proposing recommendation to Secretary of State to make an order.

      6. 18. No such recommendation to be made except in pursuance of reference to which s. 17 applies.

      7. 19. Scope of recommendation proposed in reference to which s. 17 applies.

      8. 20. Time-limit and quorum for report on reference to which s. 17 applies.

      9. 21. Report of Advisory Committee on reference to which s. 17 applies.

    2. Order in pursuance of report of Advisory Committee

      1. 22. Order of Secretary of State in pursuance of report on reference to which s. 17 applies.

      2. 23. Penalties for contravention of order under s. 22.

      3. 24. Offences due to default of other person.

      4. 25. Defences in proceedings under s. 23.

      5. 26. Limitation of effect of orders under s. 22.

    3. Enforcement of orders

      1. 27. Enforcing authorities.

      2. 28. Power to make test purchases.

      3. 29. Power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents.

      4. 30. Offences in connection with exercise of powers under s. 29.

      5. 31. Notice of test.

      6. 32. Compensation for loss in respect of goods seized under s. 29.

      7. 33. Application of Part II to Northern Ireland.

  4. Part III Additional Functions of Director for Protection of Consumers

    1. 34. Action by Director with respect to course of conduct detrimental to interests of consumers.

    2. 35. Proceedings before Restrictive Practices Court.

    3. 36. Evidence in proceedings under s. 35.

    4. 37. Order of, or undertaking given to, Court in proceedings under s. 35.

    5. 38. Provisions as to persons consenting to or conniving at courses of conduct detrimental to interests of consumers.

    6. 39. Order of, or undertaking given to, Court in proceedings under s. 38.

    7. 40. Provisions as to interconnected bodies corporate.

    8. 41. Concurrent Jurisdiction of other courts in certain cases.

    9. 41A. Meaning of “relevant Court”.

    10. 42. Appeals from decisions or orders of courts under Part III.

    11. 43. Legal aid in proceedings under Part III in Restrictive Practices Court.

  5. Part IV Functions of Director and Commission in Relation to Monopoly Situations and Uncompetitive Practices

    1. Powers for Director to require information

      1. 44. General power for Director to require information.

      2. 45. Special power to require information with respect to complex monopoly situations.

      3. 46. Supplementary provisions as to requirements to furnish information.

    2. Monopoly references

      1. 47. General provisions as to monopoly references

      2. 48. Monopoly reference limited to the facts.

      3. 49. Monopoly reference not limited to the facts.

      4. 50. Monopoly references by Director.

      5. 51. Monopoly references by Ministers.

      6. 52. Variation of monopoly reference.

      7. 53. Publication of monopoly references and variations, and of directions relating to them.

      8. 54. Report of Commission on monopoly reference.

      9. 55. Time-limit for report on monopoly reference.

      10. 56. Order of appropriate Minister on report on monopoly reference.

    3. Undertakings as alternative to monopoly reference by Director

      1. 56A. Proposals by Director.

      2. 56B. Proposals under section 56A: preparatory steps.

      3. 56C. Proposals under section 56A: exclusion of sensitive information.

      4. 56D. Acceptance by Secretary of State of proposals under section 56A.

      5. 56E. Review of undertakings.

      6. 56F. Release, variation and replacement of undertakings.

      7. 56G. Publication of undertakings etc.

  6. Part V Mergers

    1. Newspaper merger references

      1. 57. Meaning of “newspaper”, “transfer of newspaper or of newspaper assets” and related expressions.

      2. 58. Prohibition of certain newspaper mergers.

      3. 59. Newspaper merger reference.

      4. 60. Time-limit for report on newspaper merger reference.

      5. 61. Report on newspaper merger reference.

      6. 62. Enforcement provisions relating to newspaper mergers.

    2. Other merger references

      1. 63. Mergers references to which ss. 64 to 75 apply.

      2. 64. Merger situation qualifying for investigation.

      3. 65. Enterprises ceasing to be distinct enterprises.

      4. 66. Time when enterprises cease to be distinct.

      5. 66A. Obtaining control by stages.

      6. 67. Valuation of assets taken over.

      7. 68. Supplementary provisions as to merger situations qualifying for investigation.

      8. 69. Different kinds of merger references.

      9. 70. Time-limit for report on merger reference.

      10. 71. Variation of certain merger references.

      11. 72. Report of Commission on merger reference.

      12. 73. Order of Secretary of State on report on merger reference.

      13. 74. Interim order in respect of merger reference.

      14. 75. Reference in anticipation of merger.

    3. Restriction on power to make merger reference where prior notice has been given

      1. 75A. General rule where notice given by acquirer and no reference made within period for considering notice.

      2. 75B. The role of the Director.

      3. 75C. Cases where power to refer unaffected.

      4. 75D. Regulations

      5. 75E. Interpretation of sections 75A to 75D.

      6. 75F. Power to amend sections 75B to 75D.

    4. Undertakings as alternative to merger reference

      1. 75G. Acceptance of undertakings.

      2. 75H. Publication of undertakings.

      3. 75J. Review of undertakings.

      4. 75K. Order of Secretary of State where undertaking not fulfilled.

    5. Supplementary

      1. 76. Functions of Director in relation to merger situations.

      2. 77. Associated persons.

  7. Part VI References to Commission other than Monopoly and Merger References

    1. 78. General references.

    2. 79. References as to restrictive labour practices.

    3. 80. Variation of reference under Part VI.

  8. Part VII Provisions Relating to References to Advisory Committee or to Commission

    1. 81. Procedure in carrying out investigations

    2. 82. General provisions as to reports.

    3. 83. Laying before Parliament and publication of reports.

  9. Part VIII Additional Provisions relating to References to Commission

    1. 84. Public interest.

    2. 85. Attendance of witnesses and production of documents.

    3. 86. Director to receive copies of reports.

    4. 87. Supplementary provisions as to laying reports before Parliament.

    5. 88. Action by Director in consequence of report of Commission on monopoly or merger reference.

    6. 89. Interim order after report of Commission under s. 54 or s. 72.

    7. 90. General provisions as to orders under ss. 56, 73, 74 and 89.

    8. 91. Procedure relating to orders to which s. 90 applies.

    9. 92. Investigation of company or association with reference to order to which s. 90 applies.

    10. 93. Enforcement of orders to which s. 90 applies.

    11. 93A. Enforcement of undertakings.

    12. 93B. False or misleading information.

  10. Part IX Amendments of Restrictive Trade Practices Acts

    1. 94. Transfer of functions of Registrar to Director.

    2. 95—106.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  11. Part X

    1. 107—117.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  12. Part XI Pyramid Selling and Similar Trading Schemes

    1. 118. Trading schemes to which Part XI applies.

    2. 119. Regulations relating to such trading schemes.

    3. 120. Offences under Part XI.

    4. 121. Defences in certain proceedings under Part XI.

    5. 122. Penalties for offences under Part XI.

    6. 123. Enforcement provisions.

  13. Part XII Miscellaneous and Supplementary Provisions

    1. 124. Publication of information and advice.

    2. 125. Annual and other reports of Director.

    3. 126.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    4. 127. Additional power to make orders under Agricultural Marketing Act 1958.

    5. 128.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    6. 129. Time-limit for prosecutions.

    7. 130. Notice to Director of intended prosecution.

    8. 131. Notification of convictions and judgments to Director.

    9. 132. Offences by bodies corporate.

    10. 133. General restrictions on disclosure of information.

    11. 134. Provisions as to orders.

    12. 135. Financial provisions.

    13. 136.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    14. 137. General interpretation provisions.

    15. 138. Supplementary interpretation provisions.

    16. 139. Amendments, repeals and transitional provisions.

    17. 140.†Short title, citation, commencement and extent.

  14. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Director General of Fair Trading

      1. 1.There shall be paid to the Director such remuneration, and...

      2. 2.In the case of any such holder of the office...

      3. 3.If, when any person ceases to hold office as the...

      4. 4.. . . . . . . . . ....

      5. 5.The Director shall have an official seal for the authentication...

      6. 6.The Documentary Evidence Act 1868 shall have effect as if...

      7. 7.Anything authorised or required by or under this Act or...

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

      1. Status of Committee

        1. 1.Members of the Advisory Committee in their capacity as such...

      2. Tenure of office of members

        1. 2.(1) Subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, a...

      3. Tenure of office of chairman and deputy chairman

        1. 3.(1) The chairman or deputy chairman of the Advisory Committee...

      4. Remuneration and allowances

        1. 4.There shall be paid to the members of the Advisory...

      5. General provisions as to sums payable on retirement or death of members

        1. 5.As regards any member of the Advisory Committee in whose...

        2. 6.If, when any person ceases to be a member of...

      6. Procedure of Committee

        1. 7.In the case of an equality of votes on any...

        2. 8.At any time when the chairman is absent or otherwise...

        3. 9.At any time when the chairman and deputy chairman of...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      1. Part I

        1. Status of Commission

          1. 1.Members of the Commission in their capacity as such shall...

        2. Tenure of office of regular members

          1. 2.(1) Subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, a...

        3. Appointment and tenure of office of chairman and deputy chairmen

          1. 3.(1) There shall be a chairman of the Commission appointed...

        4. Staff

          1. 4.The Commission shall have a secretary, who shall be a...

          2. 5.The Commission may appoint such other staff as the Commission...

        5. Remuneration and allowances

          1. 6.There shall be paid to the members of the Commission...

          2. 7.There shall be paid to the staff of the Commission...

        6. General provisions as to sums payable on retirement or death of members

          1. 8.As regards any member of the Commission in whose case...

          2. 9.If, when any person ceases to be a member of...

      2. Part II Performance of Functions of Commission

        1. 10.(1) If the chairman of the Commission so directs—

        2. 11.Where, after a direction under paragraph 10 of this Schedule...

        3. 12.The chairman may appoint one of the members of a...

        4. 13.(1) Where during the proceedings of a group—

        5. 14.(1) At the invitation of the chairman of a group,...

        6. 15.In determining their procedure, and in exercising any powers conferred...

        7. 16.(1) Subject to the next following sub-paragraph, anything done by...

        8. 17.The quorum necessary— (a) for any meeting of the Commission...

        9. 18.The quorum necessary for a meeting of a group shall...

        10. 19.In the case of an equality of votes on any...

        11. 20.At any time when the chairman is absent or otherwise...

        12. 21.At any time when every person who is chairman or...

        13. 22.For the purposes of a newspaper merger reference the Secretary...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      Services Excluded from Sections 14 and 109

      1. 1.Legal services (that is to say, the services of barristers,...

      2. 2.Medical services (that is to say, the provision of medical...

      3. 3.Dental services (that is to say, any services falling within...

      4. 4.Ophthalmic services (that is to say, the testing of sight)....

      5. 5.Veterinary services (that is to say, any services which constitute...

      6. 6.The services of registered nurses or midwives in their capacity...

      7. 7.The services of midwives, physiotherapists or chiropodists in their capacity...

      8. 8.The services of architects in their capacity as such.

      9. 9.Accounting and auditing services (that is to say, the making...

      10. 10.The services of registered patent agents (within the meaning of...

      11. 10A.The services of persons carrying on for gain in the...

      12. 11.The services of parliamentary agents entered in the register in...

      13. 12.The services of surveyors (that is to say, of surveyors...

      14. 13.The services of professional engineers or technologists (that is to...

      15. 14.Services consisting of the provision— (a) of primary, secondary or...

      16. 15.The services of ministers of religion in their capacity as...

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      Goods and Services Referred to in Section 16

      1. Part I General Restriction

        1. 1.Gas supplied through pipes to tariff customers (within the meaning...

        2. 3.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        3. 4.The carriage of passengers by road in Northern Ireland.

        4. 5.Services for the carriage of passengers, or of goods, by...

        5. 6.The services of conveying, receiving, collecting despatching and delivering letters....

        6. 7.The running of any system for the conveyance, through the...

      2. Part II Limited Restriction . . .

    6. SCHEDULE 6

      Matters Falling Within Scope of Proposals Under Section 17

      1. 1.Prohibition of the specified consumer trade practice either generally or...

      2. 2.Prohibition of specified consumer transactions unless carried out at specified...

      3. 3.Prohibition of the inclusion in specified consumer transactions of terms...

      4. 4.A requirement that contracts relating to specified consumer transactions shall...

      5. 5.A requirement that contracts or other documents relating to specified...

      6. 6.A requirement that specified information shall be given to parties...

    7. SCHEDULE 7

      Goods and Services (in addition to those in Schedule 5) Wholly or Partly Excluded from Section 50

      1. Part I Goods and Services Wholly Excluded

        1. 1.Raw cane or beet sugar.

        2. 2.Sugar beet.

        3. 3.Hops.

        4. 4.Water.

        5. 5.Port facilities (as defined by section 92(1) of the Transport...

        6. 6.Air navigation services (as defined by section 64(1) of the...

        7. 7.International carriage by air, otherwise than on a charter flight...

        8. 8.. . . . . . . . . ....

        9. 9.. . . . . . . . . ....

      2. Part II Goods and Services Partly Excluded

      3. Part III Goods Partly Excluded in Relation to Northern Ireland Only

    8. SCHEDULE 8

      Powers Exercisable by Orders Under Sections 56 and 73

      1. Part I Powers Exercisable in all Cases

        1. 1.Subject to paragraph 3 of this Schedule, an order under...

        2. 2.Subject to the next following paragraph, an order may require...

        3. 3.(1) An order shall not by virtue of paragraph 1...

        4. 4.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        5. 5.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        6. 6.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        7. 7.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        8. 8.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        9. 9.An order may require a person supplying goods or services...

        10. 9A.(1) An order may require a person supplying goods or...

        11. 10.(1) Subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, an...

        12. 11.An order may declare it to be unlawful, except to...

        13. 12.(1) An order may prohibit or restrict the acquisition by...

        14. 13.In this Part of this Schedule “the appropriate Minister”, in...

      2. Part II Powers Exercisable Except in Cases Falling within Section 56(6)

        1. 14.An order may provide for the division of any business...

        2. 15.In relation to an order under section 73 of this...

    9. SCHEDULE 9

      Procedure Preliminary to Laying Draft of Order to which Section 91(1) Applies

      1. 1.The provisions of this Schedule shall have effect where the...

      2. 2.The Secretary of State shall cause notice of his intention...

      3. 3.A notice under this Schedule shall— (a) state that it...

      4. 4.The Secretary of State shall consider any representation that is...

    10. SCHEDULE 10

    11. SCHEDULE 11

      Transitional Provisions and Savings

      1. General provisions

        1. 1.(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Schedule, in...

        2. 2.For the purposes of the operation of paragraph 1 of...

        3. 3.Without prejudice to any express amendment made by this Act,...

        4. 4.Where any period of time specified in an enactment repealed...

        5. 5.Without prejudice to paragraph 1 of this Schedule, any reference...

        6. 6.Nothing in this Act shall affect the repealed enactments in...

      2. Reference made to Commission before commencement of Act

        1. 7.(1) Any reference made to the Commission under the repealed...

      3. Report of Commission made before 5th August 1965

        1. 8.An order made under section 56 of this Act in...

      4. Undertaking given in consequence of report on reference made under repealed enactments

        1. 9.(1) This paragraph applies to any undertaking given to a...

      5. Functions of Director in relation to orders made under Acts of 1948 and 1965

        1. 10.Subsection (5) of section 88 of this Act shall have...

      6. Provisions consequential upon transfer of functions from Registrar to Director

        1. 11.(1) Except as provided by paragraph 15 of this Schedule,...

        2. 12, 13.. . . . . . . . . ....

      7. Pension benefits

        1. 14.The repeal by this Act of the following enactments, that...

        2. 15.(1) The repeal by this Act of subsections (7) and...

      8. Trade Descriptions Act 1968, s. 30

        1. 16.The repeal by this Act of subsections (2) to (4)...

    12. SCHEDULE 12

      ENACTMENTS AMENDED

    13. SCHEDULE 13

      ENACTMENTS REPEALED

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