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Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the UK's position within the global interactive entertainment market place; and what steps he is taking to prevent the relocation overseas of UK-based interactive entertainment corporations. 
Alun Michael: In 2002 the DTI published a detailed study of the competitiveness of the UK computer games industry entitled From Exuberant Youth to Sustainable Maturity". A copy was placed in the Libraries of the House. The analysis confirms that the UK has a vibrant and valuable computer games industry.
DTI works closely with UK Trade and Investment and the sector in focusing its efforts on maintaining the UK's position as a centre of excellence for the global electronic interactive games industry. The UK is a free and open market for international business so the Government does not seek to inhibit companies from placing their global business in the location that best suits their need.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of whether a conflict of interest may arise from the Office of Fair Trading being responsible for regulating home credit providers and for assessing competitive problems in the market. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The OFT is a regulatory body which is charged with certain responsibilities set out in statute. Under the Consumer Credit Act many types of businessincluding home credit companieshave to obtain a licence from the OFT. Under the Competition Act and Enterprise Act the OFT is responsible for competition law.
These functions are consistent as the OFT seeks to make markets work well and the CCA and competition powers both contribute to this aim. Therefore it is highly unlikely that any conflict of interest should arise.
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Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government repealed the Land and Vertical Agreements Exclusion Order 2000 as part of the package of legislation that came into effect on 1 May 2004 to modernise competition law. The substantive arguments concerning repeal of this order may be found in the following documents:
1. The Government's June 2003 consultation on its proposals for the treatment of existing exclusions and exemptions from the Competition Act 1998 in the light of EC Regulation 1/2003 which may be found at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/consultpdf/modconsult1.pdf. The section on vertical agreements is at pages 2132.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations the Office of Fair Trading has received from the European Commission on the legality of magazine distribution in the UK. 
The EU Commission submitted views to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on the application of EU Competition Law to agreements on the distribution of newspapers and magazines, in response to the OFT's consultation document Newspaper, Magazine DistributionPublic Consultation on draft opinion of OFT" issued 19 May 2005.
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James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the measures being taken by other European Union countries to ensure that they are compliant with relevant European Union competition law in respect of magazine wholesalers and distributors. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: None. It is for other national competition authorities and/or the companies concerned to look at their domestic systems of newspapers and magazine distribution to assess whether they are compatible with competition law (including EC competition law).
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department were first informed of the allegations concerning Martin Benfield, a former secondee working in his Department in relation to his involvement with Europa Crown Limited; what information concerning the allegations was made known to (i) Ministers and (ii) his Department; what action was taken as a result of information received, including information from criminal proceedings in the USA; whether an investigation was conducted; and whether disciplinary procedures were pursued against any individuals. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 25 October 2005]: Bribery and corruption are criminal offences and as such are dealt with by the criminal justice system; in any such case evidence should be handed over to them. UKTI takes such allegations very seriously and co-operates fully with the criminal justice system if asked to do so.
Mr. Sutcliffe: In October 2005, the national minimum wage for adults (workers aged 22 and over) increased to £5.05 per hour. For workers aged 18 to 21, the National Minimum Wage was increased to £4.25 per hour.
The DTI estimates that around 1.3 million people in the UK will be covered by the October 2005 uprating of the National Minimum Wage. The DTI has based this estimate on data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2004.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the practicality of developing nuclear-based combined heat and power energy services in the North East. 
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what assessment has been made of the increase in the mass of spent fuel over the current stockpile that would be created by a new programme of 10 AP-1000 nuclear reactors. 
Malcolm Wicks: While the Department has undertaken no formal assessment, an industry assessment is included in papers on keeping the nuclear option open (KNOO) that were prepared for the DTIs Energy Advisory Panel and contributed to the work on the Energy White Paper:
These papers were placed in the Libraries of the House at the start for this year in response to a written parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent on 23 February 2005, Official Report, column 648w.
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