Select Committee on Science and Technology Third Special Report

Appendix 2

Response from the Office of Fair Trading


In the Committee's Report of 8 November on the Government response to the above Report, you request that, following completion of the European Commission study into the market for scientific publications, to which my letter to you of 7 September referred, I should write again to the Committee setting out the OFT proposes to take on the basis of the Commission's findings and the concerns expressed in your report.

The Commission has stated that the findings of its study will be available in 2005, and I will be happy to write to the Committee shortly thereafter.

I am sorry that your Committee found my letter of 7 September disappointing. Please be in no doubt about the OFT's concerns over the issues that you have been considering; indeed we have been at the forefront of those raising and analysing those concerns. I decline to commit the OFT to biennial reporting on the market not because of a lack of concern but because I cannot be certain that it will be the most sensible way forward. We do best, I suggest, to wait and see first what the European Commission says. These are, after all, international problems.

December 2004

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