Section 139: Public interest intervention by Secretary of State
324.This section provides for the Secretary of State to claim an interest in a case by serving an intervention notice on the grounds that it raises a public interest consideration. The Secretary of State is limited to raising issues that are already specified as public interest considerations in section 153 or those that the Secretary of State thinks should be specified. Subsection (6) ensures that, where the Secretary of State has raised any non-specified issue in an intervention notice, she will move to specify that issue in legislation as early as practicable.
325.Subsection (1) allows the Secretary of State to give an intervention notice to the CC in the first four months after a market reference is made. Subsection (2) allows the Secretary of State to give an intervention notice to the OFT when the OFT is considering whether to accept or to vary undertakings in lieu of a reference.