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Enterprise Act 2002

Intervention notices under section 139(2)
Section 149: Intervention notices under section 139(2)

345.This section sets out the content requirements of an intervention notice given to the OFT under section 139(2) in relation to undertakings in lieu, and provides for when any such intervention notice will be deemed to be in force.

346.Subsection (1) provides that such intervention notices must include certain details, including which case it relates to, and which public interest considerations may be relevant.Subsection (2) provides the Secretary of State with the discretion to mention such public interest consideration(s) in the intervention notice as she considers appropriate where there may be more than one relevant public interest consideration.

347.Subsection (4) ensures that an intervention notice will come into force as soon as it is given. Subsections (4) and (5) provide that an intervention notice will cease to be in force once the role of the Secretary of State in relation to that case is complete (either because she has acted, including by revoking the intervention notice, or is prevented from acting in a number of circumstances set out in subsection (5)).

Section 150: Power of veto of Secretary of State

348.This section provides that, if an intervention notice on undertakings in lieu is in force, the Secretary of State must agree to any undertakings before the OFT accepts them. The Secretary of State can only withhold her agreement if she believes that an undertaking could adversely affect the public interest. She may have regard only to the competition concerns identified by the OFT and any relevant public interest considerations.

349.Subsection (5) provides that, where new public interest consideration(s) specified in the intervention notice have not yet been approved by Parliament, the Secretary of State is prevented from giving her agreement on undertakings in lieu until either the Parliamentary procedure has run its course or 24 weeks have passed from the date of the intervention notice (whichever is the shorter).

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