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Enterprise Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Investigation powers

174Investigation powers of OFT

(1)The OFT may exercise any of the powers in subsections (3) to (5) for the purpose of assisting it in deciding whether to make a reference under section 131 or to accept undertakings under section 154 instead of making such a reference.

(2)The OFT shall not exercise any of the powers in subsections (3) to (5) for the purpose of assisting it as mentioned in subsection (1) unless it already believes that it has power to make such a reference.

(3)The OFT may give notice to any person requiring him—

(a)to attend at a time and place specified in the notice; and

(b)to give evidence to the OFT or a person nominated by the OFT for the purpose.

(4)The OFT may give notice to any person requiring him—

(a)to produce any documents which—

(i)are specified or described in the notice, or fall within a category of document which is specified or described in the notice; and

(ii)are in that person’s custody or under his control; and

(b)to produce them at a time and place so specified and to a person so specified.

(5)The OFT may give notice to any person who carries on any business requiring him—

(a)to supply to the OFT such estimates, forecasts, returns or other information as may be specified or described in the notice; and

(b)to supply it at a time and place, and in a form and manner, so specified and to a person so specified.

(6)A notice under this section shall include information about the possible consequences of not complying with the notice.

(7)The person to whom any document is produced in accordance with a notice under this section may, for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1), copy the document so produced.

(8)No person shall be required under this section—

(a)to give any evidence or produce any documents which he could not be compelled to give or produce in civil proceedings before the court; or

(b)to supply any information which he could not be compelled to supply in evidence in such proceedings.

(9)No person shall be required, in compliance with a notice under this section, to go more than 10 miles from his place of residence unless his necessary travelling expenses are paid or offered to him.

(10)Any reference in this section to the production of a document includes a reference to the production of a legible and intelligible copy of information recorded otherwise than in legible form.

(11)In this section “the court” means—

(a)in relation to England and Wales or Northern Ireland, the High Court; and

(b)in relation to Scotland, the Court of Session.

175Enforcement of powers under section 174: offences

(1)A person commits an offence if he, intentionally and without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with any requirement of a notice under section 174.

(2)A person commits an offence if he intentionally and without reasonable excuse alters, suppresses or destroys any document which he has been required to produce by a notice under section 174.

(3)A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.

(4)A person commits an offence if he intentionally obstructs or delays—

(a)the OFT in the exercise of its powers under section 174; or

(b)any person in the exercise of his powers under subsection (7) of that section.

(5)A person who commits an offence under subsection (4) shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

176Investigation powers of the Commission

(1)The following sections in Part 3 shall apply, with the modifications mentioned in subsections (2) and (3) below, for the purposes of references under this Part as they apply for the purposes of references under that Part—

(a)section 109 (attendance of witnesses and production of documents etc.);

(b)section 110 (enforcement of powers under section 109: general);

(c)section 111 (penalties);

(d)section 112 (penalties: main procedural requirements);

(e)section 113 (payments and interest by instalments);

(f)section 114 (appeals in relation to penalties);

(g)section 115 (recovery of penalties); and

(h)section 116 (statement of policy).

(2)Section 110 shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (1) above, have effect as if—

(a)subsection (2) were omitted; and

(b)in subsection (9) the words from “or section” to “section 65(3))” were omitted.

(3)Section 111(5)(b)(ii) shall, in its application by virtue of subsection (1) above, have effect as if—

(a)for the words “section 50 or 65, given” there were substituted “section 142, published or given under section 143(1) or (3)”; and

(b)for the words “(or given)”, in both places where they appear, there were substituted “(or published or given)”.

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