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Competition Act 1980

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

11References of public bodies and certain other persons to the Commission

__(1) The Secretary of State may at any time refer to the Commission any question relating to—

(a)the efficiency and costs of,

(b)the service provided by, or

(c)possible abuse of a monopoly situation by,

a person falling within subsection (3) below and specified in the reference, including any question whether, in relation to a matter falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) above, the person is pursuing a course of conduct which operates against the public interest.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (l)(c) above "monopoly situation " includes a monopoly situation which is limited to a part of the United Kingdom and, accordingly, for those purposes references to the United Kingdom in sections 6 and 7 of the Fair Trading Act 1973 shall be taken to include references to a part of the United Kingdom.

(3)The persons referred to in subsection (1) above are—

(a)any body corporate—

(i)which supplies goods or services by way of business,

(ii)the affairs of which are managed by its members, and

(iii)the members of which hold office as such by virtue of their appointment to that or another office by a Minister under any enactment; or

(b)any person (not falling within paragraph (a) above) who provides a bus service, within the meaning of the Transport Act 1968 or the Finance Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, or a London bus service, within the meaning of the Transport (London) Act 1969 ; or

(c)any statutory water undertaker, within the meaning of the Water Act 1973 ; or

(d)any board administering a scheme under the Agricultural Marketing Act 1958 or the Agricultural Marketing Act (Northern Ireland) 1964 ; or

(e)any body corporate with a statutory duty to promote and assist the maintenance and development of the efficient supply of any goods or services by a body falling within paragraphs (a) to (d) above ; or

(f)any subsidiary, within the meaning of the Companies Act 1948, of a body falling within paragraphs (a) to (e) above.

(4)The Secretary of State may by order exclude from subsection (3)(b) above persons of such descriptions as may be specified in the order.

(5)No question concerning a person falling within subsection (3)(b) above or a subsidiary of a body falling within that subsection may be referred to the Commission under this section unless it relates to the carriage of passengers by the person or, as the case may be, the subsidiary.

(6)The Secretary of State may at any time by notice given to the Commission vary a reference under this section.

(7)On making a reference under this section or on varying such a reference under subsection (6) above the Secretary of State shall arrange for the reference or, as the case may be, the variation to be published in such manner as he considers most suitable for bringing it to the attention of persons who in his opinion would be affected by it or be likely to have an interest in it.

(8)On a reference under this section the Commission shall investigate and report on any question referred to them but shall exclude from their investigation and report consideration of—

(a)any question relating to the appropriateness of any financial obligations or guidance as to financial objectives (however expressed) imposed on or given to the person in question by or under any enactment, or otherwise by a Minister; and

(b)the question whether any course of conduct required or envisaged as mentioned in section 2(2) above operates against the public interest.

(9)Sections 70 (time limit for report on merger reference), 84 (public interest) and 85 (attendance of witnesses and production of documents) of the Fair Trading Act 1973 and Part II of Schedule 3 to that Act (performance of functions of Commission) shall apply in relation to a reference under this section as if—

(a)the functions of the Commission under this section were functions under that Act;

(b)the expression " merger reference " included a reference to the Commission under this section ;

(c)in paragraph 11 of that Schedule, the reference to section 71 of that Act were a reference to subsection (6) above; and

(d)in paragraph 16(2) of that Schedule, the reference to section 56 of that Act were a reference to section 12 below.

(10)A report of the Commission on a reference under this section shall be made to the Secretary of State and shall state, with reasons, the conclusions of the Commission with respect to any question referred to them and, where the Commission conclude that the person specified in the reference is pursuing a course of conduct which operates against the public interest, the report may include recommendations as to what action (if any) should be taken by the person for the purpose of remedying or preventing what the Commission consider are the adverse effects of that course of conduct.

(11)In this section "Minister" includes a Northern Ireland department and the head of such a department.

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