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Enterprise Act 2002

Section 151: Further interaction of intervention notices with general procedure

350.This section ensures that, at any one time, any case is dealt with either on the ‘competition-only’ track or the ‘public interest’ track. Where a case which was subject to an intervention notice, has reverted to the ‘competition-only’ track because the Secretary of State has revoked the intervention notice, the statutory maximum timetable for the CC to publish its report is extended by 20 days.

Section 152: Certain duties of OFT and Commission

351.This section ensures that the OFT and the CC pass any relevant information to the Secretary of State.

352.Subsection (1) provides that the OFT will inform the Secretary of State if it believes that any case it is considering raises any issue specified in section 153 that the Secretary of State would not consider immaterial. Subsection (2) provides that, in the four months following a market reference, the CC will inform the Secretary of State if it believes that an investigation raises issues specified in section 153 which the Secretary of State would not consider immaterial. These provisions are intended to alert the Secretary of State to cases where she might wish to intervene on public interest grounds.

353.Subsection (3) 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. This provision ensures that the Secretary of State is made aware of any calls for new public interest considerations to be specified in legislation.

Section 153: Specified considerations: Part 4

354.This section lists the relevant public interest issues that may be specified by the Secretary of State in an intervention notice. Subsection (1) provides that ‘national security’ is the only consideration specified. Subsection (3) allows the Secretary of State, by order, to add to, remove from, or amend the considerations in this list.

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