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Enterprise Act 2002

Section 54: Decision of Secretary of State in public interest cases

176.This section sets out how the Secretary of State will proceed on receipt of a report from the CC in a case raising any public interest consideration(s).

177.Subsection (3) provides for the circumstances in which the Secretary of State can make an adverse public interest finding. Subsection (4) provides that the Secretary of State may decide not to make any finding on the adverse public interest test if she thinks that no public interest consideration is relevant to the case. Subsection (5) ensures that the Secretary of State must make her decision within 30 days from receipt of the CC’s report.

178.Subsection (6) ensures that the Secretary of State will take account only of any public interest considerations that were specified in the reference and were not disregarded by the CC for its report.Subsection (7) provides that the Secretary of State cannot diverge from the relevant competition authority’s conclusion on competition.

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