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Communications Act 2003

Section 387: Enforcement powers in relation to newspaper and other media mergers

845.This section inserts a new paragraph 20A in Schedule 8 EA 2002, which contains the list of matters that can be included in final orders for the purpose of remedying, mitigating or preventing any adverse public interest effects which have resulted, or may be expected to result, from a merger involving a newspaper enterprise. Remedies to an adverse finding on the basis of the media public interest consideration may be different in character to the remedies directed at competition detriments with which Schedule 8 is principally concerned. Accordingly, paragraph 20A allows the Secretary of State to make such provision, in relation to these cases, as she considers appropriate in all the circumstances. Sub-paragraph (4) sets out a non-exhaustive list of the type of steps that might be taken in exercise of this power. These are remedies that experience in dealing with newspaper transfers under the FTA 1973 has shown it would be useful to be able to call upon.

846.This provision applies only to orders made in cases where (i) any of the newspaper public interest considerations were specified in the intervention/special intervention notice and remain relevant at the point of a decision on remedies, or (ii) where a consideration in section 58(2C) has been specified, provided that the relevant merger situation or special merger situation in question is one where one of the enterprises ceasing to be distinct is a newspaper enterprise.

847.New sub-paragraph (5) sets out the definition of a “newspaper public interest consideration”. This is defined as a media public interest consideration other than one which is set out in section 58(2C) or which is a consideration concerned with broadcasting which the Secretary of State thought ought to have been specified in section 58.

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