Search Legislation

Enterprise Act 2002

Section 56: Competition cases where intervention on public interest grounds ceases

180.This section provides for a case to revert to the competition authorities for a decision where an intervention notice ceases to have effect, either because of the Secretary of State deciding that the public interest consideration is not relevant to the case, or, in a case where parliamentary approval of the consideration is required, that approval is not given within the 24-week period mentioned above.

181.Subsections (1) and (2) provide for the Secretary of State to hand a case back to the OFT for a decision on reference where she decides the public interest consideration(s) cited in the intervention notice are irrelevant to the case.

182.Subsections (3)-(5) provide for the CC to revert to a competition-only investigation where the relevant intervention notice has ceased to be in force. The CC is to have the same timetable for producing and publishing its report as it had been granted for producing a report for the Secretary of State, plus an additional 20 working days.

183.Subsection (6) provides for the CC to proceed as though it had conducted and published a report on a competition-only investigation where the Secretary of State decides that no public interest consideration is relevant to the case.

Section 57: Duties of OFT and Commission to inform Secretary of State

184.This section ensures that the OFT and the Commission pass relevant information to the Secretary of State.

185.Subsection (1) provides that the OFT will inform the Secretary of State if it believes that any case it is considering raises any public interest consideration already specified in legislation that the Secretary of State would not consider immaterial.

186.Subsection (2) provides that the OFT and the CC must pass on to the Secretary of State any representations that they receive about the need for the Secretary of State to specify a new public interest consideration.

Section 58: Specified considerations

187.This section sets out the considerations that may need to be looked at alongside competition matters in merger cases. It also provides a mechanism for varying the specified considerations.

188.Subsection (1) provides that ‘national security’ is the only consideration specified.

189.Subsections (3) and (4) provide that the public interest considerations specified may be added to, removed or amended and that the revised considerations may be used in any case, regardless of the progress of the order amending the considerations.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources