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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

New general functions in relation to media mergers

381Public consultation in relation to media mergers

After section 104 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) there shall be inserted—

104APublic consultation in relation to media mergers

(1)Subsection (2) applies where the Commission—

(a)is preparing—

(i)a report under section 50 on a reference which specifies a media public interest consideration; or

(ii)a report under section 65 on a reference which specifies a consideration specified in section 58(2A) to (2C); and

(b)is not under a duty to disregard the consideration concerned.

(2)The Commission shall have regard (among other things) to the need to consult the public so far as they might be affected by the creation of the relevant merger situation or special merger situation concerned and so far as such consultation is practicable.

(3)Any consultation of the kind mentioned in subsection (2) may be undertaken by the Commission by consulting such representative sample of the public or section of the public concerned as the Commission considers appropriate.

382General information duties in relation to media mergers

(1)Section 105 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (general information duties of OFT and Competition Commission) shall be amended as follows.

(2)After subsection (1) there shall be inserted—

(1A)Where OFCOM decide to investigate a matter so as to make a report under section 44A or 61A, they shall, so far as practicable, take such action as they consider appropriate to bring information about the investigation to the attention of those who they consider might be affected by the creation of the relevant merger situation concerned or (as the case may be) the special merger situation concerned.

(3)In subsection (2) (exclusion for merger notices) for the words “Subsection (1) does” there shall be substituted “Subsections (1) and (1A) do”.

(4)In subsection (3) (duty of OFT to give requested assistance to Competition Commission)—

(a)after the word “Commission”, where it occurs for the first time, there shall be inserted “or OFCOM”; and

(b)after the word “Commission”, where it occurs for the second, third and fourth time, there shall be inserted “or (as the case may be) OFCOM”.

(5)After subsection (3) there shall be inserted—

(3A)OFCOM shall give the Commission or the OFT—

(a)such information in their possession as the Commission or (as the case may be) the OFT may reasonably require to enable the Commission or (as the case may be) the OFT to carry out its functions under this Part; and

(b)any other assistance which the Commission or (as the case may be) the OFT may reasonably require for the purpose of assisting it in carrying out its functions under this Part and which it is within the power of OFCOM to give.

(6)In subsection (4) (duty of OFT to give unrequested information to Competition Commission)—

(a)after the word “Commission”, where it occurs for the first time, there shall be inserted “or OFCOM”; and

(b)after the word “Commission”, where it occurs for the second and third time, there shall be inserted “or (as the case may be) OFCOM”.

(7)After subsection (4) there shall be inserted—

(4A)OFCOM shall give the Commission or the OFT any information in their possession which has not been requested by the Commission or (as the case may be) the OFT but which, in the opinion of OFCOM, would be appropriate to give to the Commission or (as the case may be) the OFT for the purpose of assisting it in carrying out its functions under this Part.

(8)In subsection (5) (duty of OFT and Competition Commission to give requested assistance to the Secretary of State) after the word “OFT”, in both places where it occurs, there shall be inserted “, OFCOM”.

(9)In subsection (6) (duty of OFT to give unrequested information to Secretary of State)—

(a)after the word “OFT”, where it occurs for the first time, there shall be inserted “and OFCOM”;

(b)for the word “its” there shall be substituted “their”; and

(c)after the word “OFT”, where it occurs for the second time, there shall be inserted “or (as the case may be) OFCOM”.

(10)In subsection (7) (duty to have regard to information given) for the words “or (4)” there shall be substituted “, (3A), (4) or (4A)”.

(11)After subsection (7) there shall be inserted—

(7A)OFCOM shall have regard to any information given to them under subsection (3) or (4); and the OFT shall have regard to any information given to it under subsection (3A) or (4A).

383Advice and information in relation to media mergers

After section 106 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) there shall be inserted—

106AAdvice and information in relation to media mergers

(1)The Secretary of State may prepare and publish general advice and information about the considerations specified in section 58(2A) to (2C).

(2)The Secretary of State may at any time publish revised, or new, advice or information.

(3)Advice or information published under this section shall be prepared with a view to—

(a)explaining the considerations specified in section 58(2A) to (2C) to persons who are likely to be affected by them; and

(b)indicating how the Secretary of State expects this Part to operate in relation to such considerations.

(4)Any advice or information published by the Secretary of State under this section shall be published in such manner as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(5)In preparing any advice or information under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult the OFT, OFCOM, the Commission and such other persons as he considers appropriate.

384General advisory functions of OFCOM in relation to media mergers

After section 106A of the Enterprise Act 2002 there shall be inserted—

106BGeneral advisory functions of OFCOM

(1)OFCOM may, in connection with any case on which they are required to give a report by virtue of section 44A or 61A, give such advice as they consider appropriate to the Secretary of State in relation to—

(a)any report made in such a case by the Commission under section 50 or 65; and

(b)the taking by the Secretary of State of enforcement action under Schedule 7.

(2)OFCOM may, if requested to do so by the Secretary of State, give such other advice as they consider appropriate to the Secretary of State in connection with any case on which they are required to give a report by virtue of section 44A or 61A.

(3)OFCOM shall publish any advice given by them under this section but advice given by them in relation to a report of the Commission under section 50 or 65 or related enforcement action shall not be published before the report itself is published.

385Other general functions of OFCOM in relation to media mergers

After section 119 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) there shall be inserted—

Further provision about media mergers
119AOther general functions of OFCOM in relation to this Part

(1)OFCOM have the function of obtaining, compiling and keeping under review information about matters relating to the carrying out of their functions under this Part.

(2)That function is to be carried out with a view to (among other things) ensuring that OFCOM have sufficient information to take informed decisions and to carry out their other functions effectively.

(3)In carrying out that function OFCOM may carry out, commission or support (financially or otherwise) research.

(4)Section 3 of the Communications Act 2003 (general duties of OFCOM) shall not apply in relation to functions of OFCOM under this Part.

386Monitoring role for OFT in relation to media mergers

After section 119A of the Enterprise Act 2002 there shall be inserted—

119BMonitoring role for OFT in relation to media mergers

(1)The OFT has the function of obtaining, compiling and keeping under review information about matters which may be relevant to the Secretary of State in deciding whether to give a special intervention notice mentioning a consideration specified in section 58(2A) to (2C).

(2)That function is to be carried out with a view to (among other things) ensuring that the Secretary of State is aware of cases where, in the opinion of the OFT, he might wish to consider giving such a notice.

(3)That function does not extend to obtaining, compiling or keeping under review information with a view to carrying out a detailed analysis in each case of the operation in relation to that case of the consideration specified in section 58(2A) to (2C).

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