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Competition Act 1980

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13 Investigations of prices directed by Secretary of State.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If so directed by the Secretary of State, the Director shall carry out an investigation into any price specified in the direction with a view to providing the Secretary of State with information of a description so specified relating to that price: F1. . ..

(2)The Secretary of State shall not give a direction under this section unless he is satisfied that the price in question is one of major public concern and, in this connection, he shall have regard to whether—

(a)the provision or acquisition of the goods or services in question is of general economic importance; or

(b)consumers are significantly affected, whether directly or indirectly, by the price.

(3)The Secretary of State may at any time vary or revoke a direction given under this section, but he shall not exercise his power to vary such a direction unless he is satisfied that the direction as proposed to be varied would be such as he could have given, having regard to subsection (2) above.

(4)On giving a direction under this section or on varying or revoking such a direction, the Secretary of State shall arrange for the direction, variation or revocation 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, or be likely to have an interest in, the investigation to which the direction, variation or revocation relates.

(5)A direction under this section shall specify a period within which the Director is to report on his investigation to the Secretary of State, and, before the expiry of the period specified in the direction (whether as originally given or as varied under subsection (3) above), the Director shall make a report on the investigation to the Secretary of State—

(a)stating his findings of fact which are material to the information which he is required to provide in accordance with the direction; and

(b)containing such additional observations (if any) as the Director considers should be brought to the attention of the Secretary of State as a result of the investigation.

[F2(6)For the purposes of an investigation under this section the Director may, by notice in writing signed by him—

(a)require any person to produce—

(i)at a time and a place specified in the notice,

(ii)to the Director or to any person appointed by him for the purpose,

any documents which are specified or described in the notice and which are documents in his custody or under his control and relating to any matter relevant to the investigation; or

(b)require any person carrying on any business to—

(i)furnish to the Director such estimates, forecasts, returns or other information as may be specified or described in the notice; and

(ii)specify the time, manner and form in which any such estimates, forecasts, returns or information are to be furnished.

(7)No person shall be compelled, for the purpose of any investigation under this section—

(a)to produce any document which he could not be compelled to produce in civil proceedings before the High Court or, in Scotland, the Court of Session; or

(b)in complying with any requirement for the furnishing of information, to give any information which he could not be compelled to give in evidence in such proceedings.

(8)Subsections (6) to (8) of section 85 of the M1Fair Trading Act 1973 (enforcement provisions relating to notices requiring production of documents etc.) shall apply in relation to a notice under subsection (6) above as they apply in relation to a notice under section 85(1) but as if, in section 85(7), for the words from “any one” to “the Commission” there were substituted “the Director.”]

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Amendments (Textual)

F2S. 13(6)-(8) substituted for s. 13(6) (1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 41, ss. 74(1), Sch. 12 para. 4(4)(b) (with s. 73); S.I. 2000/344, art. 2, Sch.

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