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Water Act 2014

Section 23: General duty as regards undue preference in the provision of services

139.This section inserts new subsection (ba) to section 2(3) of the WIA which imposes a general duty on the Secretary of State, the Welsh Ministers and Ofwat to carry out their functions with a view to securing that undertakers do not show any undue preference or undue discrimination in favour of (in particular) their own retail businesses, associated licensees or other undertakers in the provision of services for licensees, inset appointees or other undertakers.

140.Undue preference might be demonstrated by an undertaker, for example, where it prioritises enquiries from its own end-user customers or from its subsidiary licensee over those from another licensee or undertaker. Undue discrimination might involve an undertaker placing different information requirements on unassociated licensees or other undertakers that it would not normally require from its own retail business or subsidiary licensee. This would in effect give the undertaker’s own business interests a competitive advantage over others that are operating in the same market.

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