Competition Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Commons

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The Broadcasting Act 1990 (c.42)
     4. - (1) The Broadcasting Act 1990 is amended as follows.
      (2) In section 194A (which modifies the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 in its application to agreements relating to Channel 3 news provision), for subsections (2) to (6), substitute-
    "(2) If, having sought the advice of the Director, it appears to the Secretary of State, in relation to some or all of the provisions of a relevant agreement, that the conditions mentioned in subsection (3) are satisfied, he may make a declaration to that effect.
      (3) The conditions are that-
    (a) the provisions in question do not have, and are not intended or likely to have, to any significant extent the effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition; or
    (b) the effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition which the provisions in question do have or are intended or are likely to have, is not greater than is necessary-
      (i) in the case of a relevant agreement falling within subsection (1)(a), for securing the appointment by holders of regional Channel 3 licences of a single body corporate to be the appointed news provider for the purposes of section 31(2), or
      (ii) in the case of a relevant agreement falling within subsection (1)(b), for compliance by them with conditions included in their licences by virtue of section 31(1) and (2).
      (4) If the Secretary of State makes a declaration under this section, the Chapter I prohibition does not apply to the agreement to the extent to which the agreement consists of provisions to which the declaration relates.
      (5) If the Secretary of State is satisfied that there has been a material change of circumstances, he may-
    (a) revoke a declaration made under this section, if he considers that the grounds on which it was made no longer exist;
    (b) vary such a declaration, if he considers that there are grounds for making a different declaration, or
    (c) make a declaration, even though he has notified the Director of his intention not to do so.
      (6) If the Secretary of State makes, varies or revokes a declaration under this section, he must notify the Director of his decision.
      (7) The Director may not exercise any Chapter III powers in respect of a relevant agreement, unless-
    (a) he has notified the Secretary of State of his intention to do so; and
    (b) the Secretary of State-
      (i) has notified the Director that he has not made a declaration in respect of the agreement, or provisions of the agreement, under this section and that he does not intend to make such a declaration; or
      (ii) has revoked a declaration under this section and a period of six months beginning with the date on which the revocation took effect has expired.
      (8) If the Director proposes to exercise any Chapter III powers in respect of a relevant agreement, he must give the Secretary of State particulars of the agreement and such other information-
    (a) as he considers will assist the Secretary of State to decide whether to exercise his powers under this section; or
    (b) as the Secretary of State may request.
      (9) In this section-
    "the Chapter I prohibition" means the prohibition imposed by section 2(1) of the Competition Act 1998;
    "Chapter III powers" means the powers given to the Director by Chapter III of Part I of that Act so far as they relate to the Chapter I prohibition;
    "Director" means the Director General of Fair Trading;
    "regional Channel 3 licence" has the same meaning as in Part I;
  and expressions used in this section which are also used in Part I of the Competition Act 1998 are to be interpreted in the same way as for the purposes of that Part of that Act.
      (10) In this section references to an agreement are to be read as applying equally to, or in relation to, a decision or concerted practice.
      (11) In the application of this section to decisions and concerted practices, references to provisions of an agreement are to be read as references to elements of a decision or concerted practice."
Networking arrangements under the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c.42)
     5. - (1) The Chapter I prohibition does not apply in respect of any networking arrangements to the extent to which they-
    (a) are subject to Schedule 4 to the Broadcasting Act 1990 (competition references with respect to networking arrangements); or
    (b) contain provisions which have been considered under that Schedule.
      (2) The Independent Television Commission ("ITC") must publish a list of the networking arrangements which in their opinion are excluded from the Chapter I prohibition by virtue of sub-paragraph (1).
      (3) The ITC must-
    (a) consult the Director before publishing the list, and
    (b) publish the list in such a way as they think most suitable for bringing it to the attention of persons who, in their opinion, would be affected by, or likely to have an interest in it.
      (4) In this paragraph "networking arrangements" means-
    (a) any arrangements entered into as mentioned in section 39(4) or (7)(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, or
    (b) any agreements-
      (i) which do not constitute arrangements of the kind mentioned in paragraph (a), but
      (ii) which are made for the purpose mentioned in section 39(1) of that Act, or
    (c) any modification of the arrangements or agreements mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).
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Prepared 10 March 1998