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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

378Extension of special public interest regime for certain media mergers
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)In section 59 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (intervention by Secretary of State in special public interest cases), for subsections (3) and (4) (definition of “special merger situation”) there shall be substituted—

(3)For the purposes of this Part a special merger situation has been created if—

(a)the condition mentioned in subsection (3A) is satisfied; and

(b)immediately before the enterprises concerned ceased to be distinct—

(i)the conditions mentioned in subsection (3B) were satisfied;

(ii)the condition mentioned in subsection (3C) was satisfied; or

(iii)the condition mentioned in subsection (3D) was satisfied.

(3A)The condition mentioned in this subsection is that—

(a)no relevant merger situation has been created because of section 23(1)(b) and (2)(b); but

(b)a relevant merger situation would have been created if those enactments were disregarded.

(3B)The conditions mentioned in this subsection are that—

(a)at least one of the enterprises concerned was carried on in the United Kingdom or by or under the control of a body corporate incorporated in the United Kingdom; and

(b)a person carrying on one or more of the enterprises concerned was a relevant government contractor.

(3C)The condition mentioned in this subsection is that, in relation to the supply of newspapers of any description, at least one-quarter of all the newspapers of that description which were supplied in the United Kingdom, or in a substantial part of the United Kingdom, were supplied by the person or persons by whom one of the enterprises concerned was carried on.

(3D)The condition mentioned in this subsection is that, in relation to the provision of broadcasting of any description, at least one-quarter of all broadcasting of that description provided in the United Kingdom, or in a substantial part of the United Kingdom, was provided by the person or persons by whom one of the enterprises concerned was carried on.

(2)After subsection (6) of that section there shall be inserted—

(6A)The Secretary of State may by order amend the conditions mentioned in subsection (3)(b)(ii) and (iii).

(3)After that section there shall be inserted—

59AConstruction of conditions in section 59(3C) and (3D)

(1)For the purpose of deciding whether the proportion of one-quarter mentioned in section 59(3C) or (3D) is fulfilled with respect to—

(a)newspapers of any description, or

(b)broadcasting of any description,

the decision-making authority shall apply such criterion (whether value, cost, price, quantity, capacity, number of workers employed or some other criterion, of whatever nature), or such combination of criteria, as the decision-making authority considers appropriate.

(2)References in section 59(3C) to the supply of newspapers shall, in relation to newspapers of any description which are the subject of different forms of supply, be construed in whichever of the following ways the decision-making authority considers appropriate—

(a)as references to any of those forms of supply taken separately;

(b)as references to all those forms of supply taken together; or

(c)as references to any of those forms of supply taken in groups.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2) the decision-making authority may treat newspapers as being the subject of different forms of supply whenever—

(a)the transactions concerned differ as to their nature, their parties, their terms or their surrounding circumstances; and

(b)the difference is one which, in the opinion of the decision-making authority, ought for the purposes of that subsection to be treated as a material difference.

(4)References in section 59(3D) to the provision of broadcasting shall, in relation to broadcasting of any description which is the subject of different forms of provision, be construed in whichever of the following ways the decision-making authority considers appropriate—

(a)as references to any of those forms of provision taken separately;

(b)as references to all those forms of provision taken together; or

(c)as references to any of those forms of provision taken in groups.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4) the decision-making authority may treat broadcasting as being the subject of different forms of provision whenever—

(a)the transactions concerned differ as to their nature, their parties, their terms or their surrounding circumstances; and

(b)the difference is one which, in the opinion of the decision-making authority, ought for the purposes of that subsection to be treated as a material difference.

(6)The criteria for deciding when newspapers or broadcasting can be treated, for the purposes of section 59, as newspapers or broadcasting of a separate description shall be such as in any particular case the decision-making authority considers appropriate in the circumstances of that case.

(7)In section 59 and this section “provision” and cognate expressions have the same meaning in relation to broadcasting as in Part 3 of the Communications Act 2003; but this subsection is subject to subsections (4) and (5) of this section.

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