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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 5 — Competition in communications markets
Chapter 2 — Newspaper mergers

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 372   Monitoring role for OFT in relation to newspaper mergers

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

       “119B Monitoring role for OFT in relation to newspaper mergers

           (1)           The OFT has the function of obtaining, compiling and keeping under

review information about matters which may be relevant to the

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Secretary of State in deciding whether to give a special intervention

notice mentioning a consideration specified in section 58(2A) or (2B).

           (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.

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           (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 to that case of the consideration specified in

section 58(2A) or (2B).”

Supplemental provisions of Chapter 2

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 373   Enforcement powers in relation to newspaper mergers

In Schedule 8 to the Enterprise Act 2002 (provision that may be contained in

certain enforcement orders) after paragraph 20 there shall be inserted—

“Newspaper mergers

        20A(1) This paragraph applies in relation to any order—

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                    (a)                   which is to be made following the giving of—

                           (i)                          an intervention notice which mentions a newspaper

public interest consideration; or

                           (ii)                         a special intervention notice which mentions a

consideration specified in section 58(2A) or (2B); and

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                    (b)                   to which the consideration concerned is still relevant.

                       (2)                The order may make such provision as the person making the order

considers to be appropriate in all circumstances of the case.

                       (3)                Such provision may, in particular, include provision requiring a

person to do, or not to do, particular things.

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                       (4)                 Provision made by virtue of this paragraph may, in particular,

include provision—

                    (a)                   altering the constitution of a body corporate (whether in

connection with the appointment of directors, the

establishment of an editorial board or otherwise);

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                    (b)                   requiring the agreement of the relevant authority or another

person before the taking of particular action (including the

appointment or dismissal of an editor, journalists or directors

or acting as a shadow director);

                    (c)                   attaching conditions to the operation of a newspaper;

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                    (d)                   prohibiting consultation or co-operation between

subsidiaries.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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                       (5)                This paragraph is without prejudice to the operation of the other

paragraphs of this Schedule in relation to the order concerned.”

 374   Alterations to newspaper panel of Competition Commission

In paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41) (the

Competition Commission: interpretation), in the definition of “newspaper

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merger reference”, for the words from “newspaper”, where it occurs for the

second time, to “Act” there shall be substituted “reference under section 45 of

the Enterprise Act 2002 which specifies a newspaper public interest

consideration (within the meaning of Part 3 of that Act) or a reference under

section 62 of that Act which specifies a consideration specified in section 58(2A)

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or (2B) of that Act”.

 375   Further provision in connection with newspaper mergers

     (1)    Schedule 16 (which contains further amendments in connection with

newspaper mergers) shall have effect.

     (2)    Sections 276(2) and (3) and 277 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (power to make

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transitional and consequential amendments etc.) shall apply in relation to this

Chapter of this Part of this Act and its related repeals as they apply in relation

to that Act.

     (3)    For the avoidance of doubt, the power conferred by virtue of subsection (2) by

applying section 277 of the Act of 2002 includes the power to modify that Act.

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     (4)    Section 387 shall not apply in relation to any power to make an order which is

exercisable by the Secretary of State by virtue of subsection (2).

Part 6

Miscellaneous and Supplemental

Annual report

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 376   Annual report on the Secretary of State’s functions

     (1)    The Secretary of State must prepare and lay before Parliament regular reports

on the carrying out by him of the functions to which this section applies.

     (2)    This section applies to the Secretary of State’s functions under the following

enactments—

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           (a)           this Act;

           (b)           the Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11);

           (c)           the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum so far

as not comprised in this Act;

           (d)           the 1990 Act;

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           (e)           the 1996 Act.

     (3)    The first report under this paragraph must relate to the period which—

           (a)           begins with 19th March 2002 (the date of the passing of the Office of

Communications Act 2002); and

           (b)           ends with the period of twelve months beginning with the first date to

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be appointed for the purposes of section 2 of this Act.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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     (4)    Every subsequent report must relate to the period of twelve months beginning

with the end of the period to which the previous report related.

     (5)    The obligation under this section to prepare and lay a report before Parliament

is an obligation to do that as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the

period to which the report relates.

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     (6)    Where a report for the purposes of this section relates to a period the whole or

a part of which falls before the time when the whole of this Act is in force, the

functions referred to in subsection (2) are to be taken as excluding all functions

under the specified enactments that will have ceased to be functions of the

Secretary of State when the whole of this Act is in force.

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Review of media ownership

 377   Review of media ownership

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           to carry out regular reviews of the operation, taken together, of all the

provisions to which this section applies; and

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           (b)           to send a report on every such review to the Secretary of State.

     (2)    This section applies to—

           (a)           the provisions of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act;

           (b)           the provision made by or under Schedule 14 to this Act;

           (c)           the provisions of section 272 of this Act and section 32 of the 1990 Act;

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           (d)           whatever provision (if any) has been made under section 274 of this

Act; and

           (e)           the provisions of Part 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) so far as they

relate to intervention by the Secretary of State in connection with

newspapers.

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     (3)    The first review must be carried out no more than three years after the

commencement of this section, and subsequent reviews must be carried out at

intervals of no more than three years.

     (4)    The report to the Secretary of State on a review must set out OFCOM’s

recommendations, in consequence of their conclusions on the review, for the

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exercise by the Secretary of State of—

           (a)           his power to make an order under section 335(5);

           (b)           his powers to make orders under Schedule 14; and

           (c)           his powers in relation to news provision;

           (d)           his powers under sections 44(10), 58(3) and 59(6E) of the Enterprise Act

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2002 (newspaper mergers).

     (5)    The Secretary of State’s powers in relation to news provision are his powers to

make orders under—

           (a)           section 273;

           (b)           section 274; and

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           (c)           section 338(3).

     (6)    OFCOM must publish every report sent by them to the Secretary of State under

this section in such manner as they consider appropriate for bringing it to the

attention of members who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

 

 

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Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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Guidelines as to penalties

 378   Penalties imposed by OFCOM

     (1)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to prepare and publish a statement containing

the guidelines they propose to follow in determining the amount of penalties

imposed by them under provisions contained in this Act or any other

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enactment apart from the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41).

     (2)    OFCOM may from time to time revise that statement as they think fit.

     (3)    Where OFCOM make or revise their statement under this section, they must

publish the statement or (as the case may be) the revised statement in such

manner as they consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of the

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persons who, in their opinion, are likely to be affected by it.

     (4)    Before publishing a statement or revised statement under this section OFCOM

must consult both—

           (a)           the Secretary of State, and

           (b)           such other persons as they consider appropriate,

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            about the guidelines they are proposing to include in the statement.

     (5)    Before determining how to publish a statement or revised statement under this

section OFCOM must consult the Secretary of State.

     (6)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM, in determining the amount of any penalty to be

imposed by them under this Act or any other enactment (apart from the

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Competition Act 1998) to have regard to the guidelines contained in the

statement for the time being in force under this section.

Disclosure of information

 379   General restrictions on disclosure of information

     (1)    Subject to the following provisions of this section, information with respect to

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a particular business which has been obtained in exercise of a power conferred

by—

           (a)           this Act,

           (b)           the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum (so

far as not contained in this Act),

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           (c)           the 1990 Act, or

           (d)           the 1996 Act,

            is not, so long as that business continues to be carried on, to be disclosed

without the consent of the person for the time being carrying on that business.

     (2)    Subsection (1) does not apply to any disclosure of information which is made—

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           (a)           for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by OFCOM of any of

their functions;

           (b)           for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by any relevant person

of any relevant function;

           (c)           for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out by the Comptroller and

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Auditor General of any of his functions;

 

 

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Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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           (d)           for any of the purposes specified in section 17(2)(a) to (d) of the Anti-

terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24) (criminal proceedings

and investigations);

           (e)           for the purpose of any civil proceedings brought under or by virtue of

this Act or any of the enactments or instruments mentioned in

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subsection (5); or

           (f)           for the purpose of securing compliance with an international

obligation.

     (3)    Each of the following is a relevant person for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           a Minister of the Crown and the Treasury;

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           (b)           the Scottish Executive;

           (c)           a Northern Ireland department;

           (d)           the Office of Fair Trading;

           (e)           the Competition Commission;

           (f)           the Consumer Panel;

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           (g)           the Welsh Authority;

           (h)           a local weights and measures authority in Great Britain;

           (i)           any other person specified for the purposes of this subsection in an

order made the Secretary of State.

     (4)    The following are relevant functions for the purposes of this section—

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           (a)           any function conferred by or under this Act;

           (b)           any function conferred by or under any enactment or instrument

mentioned in subsection (5);

           (c)           any other function specified for the purposes of this subsection in an

order made by the Secretary of State.

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     (5)    The enactments and instruments referred to in subsections (2) and (4) are—

           (a)           the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (c. 54);

           (b)           the Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 (c. 41);

           (c)           the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 (c. 72);

           (d)           the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (c. 29);

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           (e)           the Fair Trading Act 1973 (c. 41);

           (f)           the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (c. 39);

           (g)           the Competition Act 1980 (c. 21);

           (h)           the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12);

           (i)           the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (c. 43);

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           (j)           the 1990 Act;

           (k)           the 1996 Act;

           (l)           the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1998 (c. 6);

           (m)           the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41);

           (n)           the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40);

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           (o)           the Consumer Protection (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S.I. 1987/2049

(N.I. 20));

           (p)           the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 (S.I. 1988/

915).

     (6)    Nothing in this section—

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           (a)           limits the matters that may be published under section 14, 23 or 376;

 

 

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Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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           (b)           limits the matters that may be included in, or made public as part of, a

report made by OFCOM by virtue of a provision of this Act or the

Office of Communications Act 2002 (c. 11);

           (c)           prevents the disclosure of anything for the purposes of a report of legal

proceedings in which it has been publicly disclosed;

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           (d)           applies to information that has been published or made public as

mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c).

     (7)    Nothing in this section applies to information obtained in exercise of the

powers conferred by section 196 of the 1990 Act (powers of entry and search).

     (8)    Information obtained by OFCOM in exercise of functions which are exercisable

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by them concurrently with the Office of Fair Trading under Part 1 of the

Competition Act 1998 (c. 41) is subject to Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c.

40), and not to the preceding provisions of this section.

     (9)    Section 18 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24) (restriction

on disclosure of information for overseas purposes) shall have effect in relation

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to a disclosure by virtue of subsection (2)(d) as it applies in relation to a

disclosure in exercise of a power to which section 17 of that Act applies.

     (10)   A person who discloses information in contravention of this section is guilty of

an offence and shall be liable—

           (a)           on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory

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maximum;

           (b)           on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding

two years or to a fine, or to both.

     (11)   No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (3) or (4)

unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

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resolution of each House.

     (12)   In this section “legal proceedings” means civil or criminal proceedings in or

before any court, or proceedings before any tribunal established by or under

any enactment.

Notifications etc. and electronic working

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 380   Service of notifications and other documents

     (1)    This section applies where provision made (in whatever terms) by or under an

enactment specified in subsection (2) authorises or requires—

           (a)           a notification to be given to any person; or

           (b)           a document of any other description (including a copy of a document)

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to be sent to any person.

     (2)    Those enactments are—

           (a)           this Act;

           (b)           the Office of Communications Act 2002;

           (c)           the enactments relating to the management of the radio spectrum (so

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far as not contained in this Act);

           (d)           Schedule 2 to the Telecommunications Act 1984 (c. 12);

           (e)           the 1990 Act; and

           (f)           the 1996 Act.

 

 

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Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

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     (3)    The notification or document may be given or sent to the person in question—

           (a)           by delivering it to him;

           (b)           by leaving it at his proper address; or

           (c)           by sending it by post to him at that address.

     (4)    The notification or document may be given or sent to a body corporate by

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being given or sent to the secretary or clerk of that body.

     (5)    The notification or document may be given or sent to a firm by being given or

sent to—

           (a)           a partner in the firm; or

           (b)           a person having the control or management of the partnership

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business.

     (6)    The notification or document may be given or sent to an unincorporated body

or association by being given or sent to a member of the governing body of the

body or association.

     (7)    For the purposes of this section and section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978

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(c. 30) (service of documents by post) in its application to this section, the

proper address of a person is—

           (a)           in the case of body corporate, the address of the registered or principal

office of the body;

           (b)           in the case of a firm, unincorporated body or association, the address of

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the principal office of the partnership, body or association;

           (c)           in the case of a person to whom the notification or other document is

given or sent in reliance on any of subsections (4) to (6), the proper

address of the body corporate, firm or (as the case may be) other body

or association in question; and

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           (d)           in any other case, the last known address of the person in question.

     (8)           In the case of—

           (a)           a company registered outside the United Kingdom,

           (b)           a firm carrying on business outside the United Kingdom, or

           (c)           an unincorporated body or association with offices outside the United

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Kingdom,

            the references in subsection (7) to its principal office include references to its

principal office within the United Kingdom (if any).

     (9)    In this section—

                    “document” includes anything in writing; and

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                    “notification” includes notice;

            and references in this section to giving or sending a notification or other

document to a person include references to transmitting it to him and to

serving it on him.

     (10)   This section has effect subject to section 381.

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 381   Notifications and documents in electronic form

     (1)    This section applies where—

           (a)           section 380 authorises the giving or sending of a notification or other

document by its delivery to a particular person (“the recipient”); and

           (b)           the notification or other document is transmitted to the recipient—

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