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Fair Trading Act 1973

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CONTENTS

Part I

Introductory

1. Director General of Fair Trading

2. General functions of Director

3. Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

4.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5. Principal functions of Commission

6. Monopoly situation in relation to supply of goods

7. Monopoly situation in relation to supply of services

8. Monopoly situation in relation to exports

9. Monopoly situation limited to part of United Kingdom

10. Supplementary provisions relating to ss. 6 to 9

11. Meaning of “complex monopoly situation”

12. Powers of Secretary of State in relation to functions of Director

Part II

REFERENCES TO CONSUMER PROTECTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

General provisions

13. Meaning of “consumer trade practice”

14. General provisions as to references to Advisory Committee

15. Exclusion from s. 14 in respect of certain services

16. Restriction on references under s. 14 in respect of certain goods and services

17. Reference to Advisory Committee proposing recommendation to Secretary of State to make an order

18. No such recommendation to be made except in pursuance of reference to which s. 17 applies

19. Scope of recommendation proposed in reference to which s. 17 applies

20. Time-limit and quorum for report on reference to which s. 17 applies

21. Report of Advisory Committee on reference to which s. 17 applies

Order in pursuance of report of Advisory Committee

22. Order of Secretary of State in pursuance of report on reference to which s. 17 applies

23. Penalties for contravention of order under s. 22

24. Offences due to default of other person

25. Defences in proceedings under s. 23

26. Limitation of effect of orders under s. 22

Enforcement of orders

27. Enforcing authorities

28. Power to make test purchases

29. Power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents

30. Offences in connection with exercise of powers under s. 29

31. Notice of test

32. Compensation for loss in respect of goods seized under s. 29

33. Application of Part II to Northern Ireland

Part III

ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS OF DIRECTOR FOR PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS

34. Action by Director with respect to course of conduct detrimental to interests of consumers

35. Proceedings before Restrictive Practices Court

36. Evidence in proceedings under s. 35

37. Order of, or undertaking given to, Court in proceedings under s. 35

38. Provisions as to persons consenting to or conniving at courses of conduct detrimental to interests of consumers

39. Order of, or undertaking given to, Court in proceedings under s. 38

40. Provisions as to interconnected bodies corporate

41. Concurrent Jurisdiction of other courts in certain cases

41A. Meaning of “relevant Court”

42. Appeals from decisions or orders of courts under Part III

43. Legal aid in proceedings under Part III in Restrictive Practices Court

Part IV

FUNCTIONS OF DIRECTOR AND COMISSION IN RELATION TO MONOPLOY SITUATIONS AND UNCOMPETITIVE PRACTICES

Powers for Director to require information

44. General power for Director to require information

45.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46. Supplementary provisions as to requirements to furnish information

Monopoly references

47. General provisions as to monopoly references

48. Monopoly reference limited to the facts

49. Monopoly reference not limited to the facts

50. Monopoly references by Director

51. Monopoly references by Ministers

52. Variation of monopoly reference

53. Publication of monopoly references and variations, and of directions relating to them

54. Report of Commission on monopoly reference

55. Time-limit for report on monopoly reference

56. Order of appropriate Minister on report on monopoly reference

Undertakings as alternative to monopoly reference by Director

56A. Proposals by Director

56B. Proposals under section 56A: preparatory steps

56C. Proposals under section 56A: exclusion of sensitive information

56D. Acceptance by Secretary of State of proposals under section 56A

56E. Review of undertakings

56F. Release, variation and replacement of undertakings

56G. Publication of undertakings etc

Part V

MERGERS

Newspaper merger references

57. Meaning of “newspaper”, “transfer of newspaper or of newspaper assets” and related expressions

58. Prohibition of certain newspaper mergers

59. Newspaper merger reference

60. Time-limit for report on newspaper merger reference

61. Report on newspaper merger reference

62. Enforcement provisions relating to newspaper mergers

Other merger references

63. Mergers references to which ss. 64 to 75 apply

64. Merger situation qualifying for investigation

65. Enterprises ceasing to be distinct enterprises

66. Time when enterprises cease to be distinct

66A. Obtaining control by stages

67. Valuation of assets taken over

68. Supplementary provisions as to merger situations qualifying for investigation

69. Different kinds of merger references

70. Time-limit for report on merger reference

71. Variation of certain merger references

72. Report of Commission on merger reference

73. Order of Secretary of State on report on merger reference

74. Interim order in respect of merger reference

75. Reference in anticipation of merger

Restriction on power to make merger reference where prior notice has been given

75A. General rule where notice given by acquirer and no reference made within period for considering notice

75B. The role of the Director

75C. Cases where power to refer unaffected

75D. Regulations

75E. Interpretation of sections 75A to 75D

75F. Power to amend sections 75B to 75D

Undertakings as alternative to merger reference

75G. Acceptance of undertakings

75H. Publication of undertakings

75J. Review of undertakings

75K. Order of Secretary of State where undertaking not fulfilled

Supplementary

76. Functions of Director in relation to merger situations

77. Associated persons

Part VI

REFERENCES TO COMMISSION OTHER THAN MONOPOLY AND MERGER REFERENCES

78. General references

79. References as to restrictive labour practices

80. Variation of reference under Part VI

Part VII

PROVISIONS RELATING TO REFERENCES TO ADVISORY COMMITTEE OR TO COMMISSION

81. Procedure in carrying out investigations

82. General provisions as to reports

83. Laying before Parliament and publication of reports

Part VIII

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO REFERENCES TO COMMISSION

84. Public interest

85. Attendance of witnesses and production of documents

86. Director to receive copies of reports

87. Supplementary provisions as to laying reports before Parliament

88. Action by Director in consequence of report of Commission on monopoly or merger reference

89. Interim order after report of Commission under s. 54 or s. 72

90. General provisions as to orders under ss. 56, 73, 74 and 89

91. Procedure relating to orders to which s. 90 applies

92. Investigation of company or association with reference to order to which s. 90 applies

93. Enforcement of orders to which s. 90 applies

93B. False or misleading information

Part IX

AMENDMENTS OF RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES ACTS

94. Transfer of functions of Registrar to Director

95—106... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part X

107—117... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part XI

PYRAMID SELLING AND SIMILAR TRADING SCHEMES

118. Trading schemes to which Part XI applies

119. Regulations relating to such trading schemes

120. Offences under Part XI

121. Defences in certain proceedings under Part XI

122. Penalties for offences under Part XI

123. Enforcement provisions

Part XII

MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

124. Publication of information and advice

125. Annual and other reports of Director

126.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

127. Additional power to make orders under Agricultural Marketing Act 1958

128.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

129. Time-limit for prosecutions

130. Notice to Director of intended prosecution

131. Notification of convictions and judgments to Director

132. Offences by bodies corporate

133. General restrictions on disclosure of information

134. Provisions as to orders

135. Financial provisions

136.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

137. General interpretation provisions

138. Supplementary interpretation provisions

139. Amendments, repeals and transitional provisions

140.†Short title, citation, commencement and extent

SCHEDULE 1:Director General of Fair Trading

SCHEDULE 2: Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

SCHEDULE 3

SCHEDULE 4: Services Excluded from Sections 14 and 109

SCHEDULE 5: Goods and Services Referred to in Section 16

SCHEDULE 6: Matters Falling Within Scope of Proposals Under Section 17

SCHEDULE 7: Goods and Services (in addition to those in Schedule 5) Wholly or Partly Excluded from Section 50

SCHEDULE 8: Powers Exercisable by Orders Under Sections 56 and 73

SCHEDULE 9: Procedure Preliminary to Laying Draft of Order to which Section 91(1) Applies

SCHEDULE 10

SCHEDULE 11: Transitional Provisions and Savings

SCHEDULE 12: ENACTMENTS AMENDED

SCHEDULE 13: ENACTMENTS REPEALED

 

An Act to provide for the appointment of a Director General of Fair Trading and of a Consumer Protection Advisory Committee, and to confer on the Director General and the Committee so appointed, on the Secretary of State, on the Restrictive Practices Court and on certain other courts new functions for the protection of consumers; to make provision, in substitution for the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Inquiry and Control) Act 1948 and the Monopolies and Mergers Act 1965, for the matters dealt with in those Acts and related matters, including restrictive labour practices; to amend the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956 and the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1968, to make provision for extending the said Act of 1956 to agreements relating to services, and to transfer to the Director General of Fair Trading the functions of the Registrar of Restrictive Trading Agreements; to make provision with respect to pyramid selling and similar trading schemes; to make new provision in place of section 30(2) to (4) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[25th July 1973]

Annotations:
Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Act applied (3.1.1995) by 1994 c. 40, ss. 7, 82(2)(a)(b), Sch. 2 para. 15

Act applied (E.W.S.) (1.3.1996) by 1986 c. 44, s. 27 (as inserted (1.3.1996) by 1995 c. 45, s. 10(1), Sch. 3 para. 25; S.I. 1996/218, art. 2)

Act applied (E.W.S.) (1.3.1996) by 1986 c. 44, s. 36A (as inserted (1.3.1996) by 1995 c. 45, s. 10(1), Sch. 3 para. 43; S.I. 1996/218, art. 2)

Act applied (N.I.) (10.6.1996) by S.I. 1996/275, arts. 18(5), 23(8) (with Sch. 7 paras. 2, 3(2); S.R. 1996/216, art. 2

C2 Act amended by Electricity Act 1989 (c. 29, SIF 44:1), s. 100(1)

C3 Act modified (E.W.) by Water Act 1989 (c. 15, SIF 130), s. 30(1)–(3)

C4 Act restricted by S.I. 1990/593 (N.I. 5), art. 49(1), Sch. 14 Pt. II para. 8

C5 Act amended (E.W.)(1. 11. 1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59), ss. 10(1)(a), 12(4), (with ss. 25(2), 167(2)); S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch.

C6 Act amended (S.)(21.10.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 108), s. 33(1)(a) (with ss. 47(4), 167(2)); S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(1), Sch.1

C7 Act modified (E.W.)(1. 11. 1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 59), ss. 10(2), 12(4), (with ss. 25(2), 167(2)); S.I. 1991/2288, art. 3,Sch

C8 Act modified (S.) (21.10.1991) by New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (c. 22, SIF 108), s. 33(2) (with ss. 47(4), 167(2)); S.I. 1991/2286, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

C9 Act: power to apply conferred (E.W.)(01.12.1991) by Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56, SIF 130), ss. 12(5), 223(2) (with ss. 82(3), 186(1), 188, 222(1), Sch. 14 para. 6).

C10 Act: definitions applied (E.W.)(01.12.1991) by Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56, SIF 130), ss. 17(4), 31(9), 223(2) (with ss. 82(3), 186(1), 188, 222(1), Sch. 14 para. 6).

C11 Act modified (E.W.)(01.12.1991) by Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56, SIF 130), ss.34(1)(2),35(4), 223(2) (with ss. 82(3), 186(1), 188, 222(1), Sch. 14 para. 6).

C12 Act modified (17.2.1994) by S.I. 1993/3160 (N.I. 15), art. 32(1)(a) (with Sch. 9 para. 1).

Part I

Introductory

1 Director General of Fair Trading

(1)The Secretary of State shall appoint an officer to be known as the Director General of Fair Trading (in this Act referred to as “the Director”) for the purpose of performing the functions assigned or transferred to the Director by or under this Act.

(2)An appointment of a person to hold office as the Director shall not be for a term exceeding five years; but previous appointment to that office shall not affect eligibility for re-appointment.

(3)The Director may at any time resign his office as the Director by notice in writing addressed to the Secretary of State; and the Secretary of State may remove any person from that office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(4)Subject to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the Director shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(5)The Director may appoint such staff as he may think fit, subject to the approval of the Minister for the Civil Service as to numbers and as to terms and conditions of service.

(6)The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Director.

2 General functions of Director

(1)Without prejudice to any other functions assigned or transferred to him by or under this Act, it shall be the duty of the Director, so far as appears to him to be practicable from time to time,—

(a)to keep under review the carrying on of commercial activities in the United Kingdom which relate to goods supplied to consumers in the United Kingdom or produced with a view to their being so supplied, or which relate to services supplied for consumers in the United Kingdom, and to collect information with respect to such activities, and the persons by whom they are carried on, with a view to his becoming aware of, and ascertaining the circumstances relating to, practices which may adversely affect the economic interests of consumers in the United Kingdom, and

(b)to receive and collate evidence becoming available to him with respect to such activities as are mentioned in the preceding paragraph and which appears to him to be evidence of practices which may adversely affect the interests (whether they are economic interests or interests with respect to health, safety or other matters) of consumers in the United Kingdom.

(2)It shall also be the duty of the Director, so far as appears to him to be practicable from time to time, to keep under review the carrying on of commercial activities in the United Kingdom, and to collect information with respect to those activities, and the persons by whom they are carried on, with a view to his becoming aware of, and ascertaining the circumstances relating to, monopoly situations or uncompetitive practices.

(3)It shall be the duty of the Director, where either he considers it expedient or he is requested by the Secretary of State to do so,—

(a)to give information and assistance to the Secretary of State with respect to any of the matters in respect of which the Director has any duties under subsections (1) and (2) of this section, or

(b)subject to the provisions of Part II of this Act in relation to recommendations under that Part of this Act, to make recommendations to the Secretary of State as to any action which in the opinion of the Director it would be expedient for the Secretary of State or any other Minister to take in relation to any of the matters in respect of which the Director has any such duties.

(4)It shall also be the duty of the Director to have regard to evidence becoming available to him with respect to any course of conduct on the part of a person carrying on a business which appears to be conduct detrimental to the interests of consumers in the United Kingdom and (in accordance with the provisions of Part III of this Act) to be regarded as unfair to them, with a view to considering what action (if any) he should take under Part III of this Act.

(5)It shall be the duty of the Director to have regard to the needs of regional development and to the desirability of dispersing administrative offices from London in making decisions on the location of offices for his staff.

3 Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

(1)There shall be established an advisory committee to be called the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (in this Act referred to as “the Advisory Committee”) for the purpose of performing the functions assigned to that Committee by Part II of this Act.

(2)Subject to subsection (6) of this section, the Advisory Committee shall consist of not less than ten and not more than fifteen members, who shall be appointed by the Secretary of State.

(3)The Secretary of State may appoint persons to the Advisory Committee either as full-time members or as part-time members.

(4)Of the members of the Advisory Committee, the Secretary of State shall appoint one to be chairman and one to be deputy chairman of the Advisory Committee.

(5)In appointing persons to be members of the Advisory Committee, the Secretary of State shall have regard to the need for securing that the Advisory Committee will include—

(a)one or more persons appearing to him to be qualified to advise on practices relating to goods supplied to consumers in the United Kingdom or produced with a view to their being so suppied, or relating to services supplied for consumers in the United Kingdom, by virtue of their knowledge of or experience in the supply (whether to consumers or not) of such goods or by virtue of their knowledge of or experience in the supply of such services;

(b)one or more persons appearing to him to be qualified to advise on such practices as are mentioned in the preceding paragraph by virtue of their knowledge of or experience in the enforcement of the [F1M1Weights and Measures Act 1963][F1Weights and Measures Act 1985] or the M2Trade Descriptions Act 1968 or other similar enactments; and

(c)one or more persons appearing to him to be qualified to advise on such practices by virtue of their knowledge of or experience in organisations established, or activities carried on, for the protection of consumers.

(6)The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument increase the maximum number of members of the Advisory Committee to such number as he may think fit.

(7)The provisions of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Advisory Committee.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Words “Weights and Measures Act 1985” substituted (E.W.S.) for “Weights and Measures Act 1963” by Weights and Measures Act 1985 (c. 72, SIF 131), s. 97, Sch. 12 para. 6

Marginal Citations

M11963 c. 31.

M21968 c. 29.

14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 4 repealed (1.4.1999) by 1998 c. 41, s. 74(1)(3), Sch. 12 para. 1(2), Sch. 14 Pt. I (with s. 73); S.I. 1999/505, art. 2, Sch. 2

5 Principal functions of Commission

(1)Without prejudice to any other functions assigned to the Commission by or under this Act, it shall be the duty of the Commission, subject to and in accordance with the following provisions of this Act, to investigate and report on any question which may be referred to the Commission under this Act—

(a)with respect to the existence, or possible existence, of a monopoly situation, or

(b)with respect to a transfer of a newspaper or of newspaper assets (within the meaning of Part V of this Act), or

(c)with respect to the creation, or possible creation, of a merger situation qualifying for investigation (within the meaning of Part V of this Act).

(2)It shall be the duty of the Director, for the purpose of assisting the Commission in carrying out an investigation on a reference made to them under this Act, to give to the Commission—

(a)any information which is in his possession and which relates to matters falling within the scope of the investigation, and which is either requested by the Commission for that purpose or is information which in his opinion it would be appropriate for that purpose to give to the Commission without any such request, and

(b)any other assistance which the Commission may require, and which it is within his power to give, in relation to any such matters,

and the Commission, for the purpose of carrying out any such investigation, shall take account of any information given to them for that purpose under this subsection.

(3)In this Act “monopoly reference” means any reference to the Commission under this Act which falls within paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section; “merger reference” (subject to section 63 of this Act) means any reference to the Commission under this Act which falls within paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of that subsection; and “monopoly situation” (except in sections 6 to 8 of this Act) means circumstances in which, in accordance with the following provisions of this Part of this Act, a monopoly situation is for the purposes of this Act to be taken to exist in relation to any matters specified in section 6(1), section 7(1) or section 8 of this Act.

6 Monopoly situation in relation to supply of goods

(1)For the purposes of this Act a monopoly situation shall be taken to exist in relation to the supply of goods of any description in the following cases, that is to say, if—

(a)at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are supplied in the United Kingdom are supplied by one and the same person, or are supplied to one and the same person, or

(b)at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are supplied in the United Kingdom are supplied by members of one and the same group of interconnected bodies corporate, or are supplied to members of one and the same group of interconnected bodies corporate, or

(c)at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are supplied in the United Kingdom are supplied by members of one and the same group consisting of two or more such persons as are mentioned in subsection (2) of this section, or are supplied to members of one and the same group consisting of two or more such persons, or

(d)one or more agreements are in operation, the result or collective result of which is that goods of that description are not supplied in the United Kingdom at all.

(2)The two or more persons referred to in subsection (1)(c) of this section, in relation to goods of any description, are any two or more persons (not being a group of interconnected bodies corporate) who whether voluntarily or not, and whether by agreement or not, so conduct their respective affairs as in any way to prevent, restrict or distort competition in connection with the production or supply of goods of that description, whether or not they themselves are affected by the competition and whether the competition is between persons interested as producers or suppliers or between persons interested as customers of producers or suppliers.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 S. 6 modified (4.4.1980) by Competition Act 1980 (c. 21), s. 11(2)

C2 S. 6(1)(b): power to modify conferred (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, ss. 24(2)(3)(4), 26

C3 S. 6(1)(b) amended by S.I. 1987/2068, art. 2

7 Monopoly situation in relation to supply of services

(1)For the purposes of this Act a monopoly situation shall be taken to exist in relation to the supply of services of any description in the following cases, that is to say, if—

(a)the supply of services of that description in the United Kingdom is, to the extent of at least one-quarter, supply by one and the same person, or supply for one and the same person, or

(b)the supply of services of that description in the United Kingdom is, to the extent of at least one-quarter, supply by members of one and the same group of interconnected bodies corporate, or supply for members of one and the same group of interconnected bodies corporate, or

(c)the supply of services of that description in the United Kingdom is, to the extent of at least one-quarter, supply by members of one and the same group consisting of two or more such persons as are mentioned in subsection (2) of this section, or supply for members of one and the same group consisting of two or more such persons, or

(d)one or more agreements are in operation, the result or collective result of which is that services of that description are not supplied in the United Kingdom at all.

(2)The two or more persons referred to in subsection (1)(c) of this section, in relation to services of any description, are any two or more persons (not being a group of interconnected bodies corporate) who whether voluntarily or not, and whether by agreement or not, so conduct their respective affairs as in any way to prevent, restrict or distort competition in connection with the supply of services of that description, whether or not they themselves are affected by the competition, and whether the competition is between persons interested as persons by whom, or as persons for whom, services are supplied.

(3)In the application of this section for the purposes of a monopoly reference, the Commission, or the person or persons making the reference, may, to such extent as the Commission, or that person or those persons, think appropriate in the circumstances, treat services as supplied in the United Kingdom if the person supplying the services—

(a)has a place of business in the United Kingdom, or

(b)controls the relevant activities from the United Kingdom, or

(c)being a body corporate, is incorporated under the law of Great Britain or of Northern Ireland,

and may do so whether or not those services would otherwise be regarded as supplied in the United Kingdom.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 S. 7 modified (4.4.1980) by Competition Act 1980 (c. 21), s. 11(2)

C2 S. 7(1)(b): power to modify conferred (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, ss. 24(2)(3)(4), 26

C3 S. 7(1)(b) amended by S.I. 1987/2068, art. 2

C4 S. 7(1)(c) restricted (26.11.2001) by S.I. 2001/3755, reg. 13, Sch. 2 para. 5(1) (with regs. 39, 45)

C5 S. 7(1)(c) restricted by Financial Services Act 1986 (c. 60, SIF 69), ss. 124(1), 140, Sch. 11 paras. 12(1), 36(2)

C6 S. 7(1)(c) amended by Companies Act 1989 (c. 40, SIF 27), s. 47(1), Sch. 14 para. 8(1)

8 Monopoly situation in relation to exports

(1)For the purposes of this Act a monopoly situation shall be taken to exist in relation to exports of goods of any description from the United Kingdom in the following cases, that is to say, if—

(a)at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are produced in the United Kingdom are produced by one and the same person, or

(b)at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are produced in the United Kingdom are produced by members of one and the same group of interconnected bodies corporate;

and in those cases a monopoly situation shall for the purposes of this Act be taken to exist both in relation to exports of goods of that description from the United Kingdom generally and in relation to exports of goods of that description from the United Kingdom to each market taken separately.

(2)In relation to exports of goods of any description from the United Kingdom generally, a monopoly situation shall for the purposes of this Act be taken to exist if—

(a)one or more agreements are in operation which in any way prevent or restrict, or prevent, restrict or distort competition in relation to, the export of goods of that description from the United Kingdom, and

(b)that agreement is or (as the case may be) those agreements collectively are operative with respect to at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are produced in the United Kingdom.

(3)In relation to exports of goods of any description from the United Kingdom to any particular market, a monopoly situation shall for the purposes of this Act be taken to exist if—

(a)one or more agreements are in operation which in any way prevent or restrict, or prevent, restrict or distort competition in relation to, the supply of goods of that description (whether from the United Kingdom or not) to that market, and

(b)that agreement is or (as the case may be) those agreements collectively are operative with respect to at least one-quarter of all the goods of that description which are produced in the United Kingdom.

9 Monopoly situation limited to part of United Kingdom

(1)For the purposes of a monopoly reference, other than a reference relating to exports of goods from the United Kingdom, the person or persons making the reference may, if it appears to him or them to be appropriate in the circumstances to do so, determine that consideration shall be limited to a part of the United Kingdom.

(2)Where such a determination is made, then for the purposes of that monopoly reference the provisions of sections 6 and 7 of this Act, or such of those provisions as are applicable for those purposes, shall have effect as if, wherever those provisions refer to the United Kingdom, they referred to that part of the United Kingdom to which, in accordance with that determination, consideration is to be limited.

(3)The preceding provisions of this section shall have effect subject to subsection (4) of section 50 of this Act in cases to which that subsection applies.

10 Supplementary provisions relating to ss. 6 to 9

(1)In the application of any of the provisions of sections 6 to 9 of this Act for the purposes of a monopoly reference, those provisions shall have effect subject to the following provisions of this section.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)In relation to goods or services of any description which are the subject of different forms of supply—

(a)references in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (1), and in subsection (2), of section 6 or in section 8(3) of this Act to the supply of goods, or

(b)references in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (1), and in subsection (2), of section 7 of this Act to the supply of services,
shall for those purposes be construed in whichever of the following ways the Commission, or the person or persons making the monopoly reference, think appropriate in all the circumstances, that is to say, as references to any of those forms of supply taken separately, to all those forms of supply taken together, or to any of those forms of supply taken in groups.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) of this section the Commission, or the person or persons making the monopoly reference in question, may treat goods or services as being the subject of different forms of supply whenever the transactions in question differ as to their nature, their parties, their terms or their surrounding circumstances, and the difference is one which, in the opinion of the Commission, or the person or persons making the reference, ought for the purposes of that subsection to be treated as a material difference.

(5)For the purposes of a monopoly reference made by the Director, subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall have effect subject to section 50(3) and (4) of this Act.

(6)In determining, for the purposes of a monopoly reference, whether the proportion of one-quarter mentioned in any provision of section 6, section 7 or section 8 of this Act is fulfilled with respect to goods or services of any description, the Commission, or the person or persons making the reference, shall apply such criterion (whether it be value or cost or price or quantity or capacity or number of workers employed or some other criterion, of whatever nature) or such combination of criteria as may appear to them or him to be most suitable in all the circumstances.

(7)The criteria for determining when goods or services can be treated, for the purposes of a monopoly reference, as goods or services of a separate description shall be such as the person or persons making the reference may think most suitable in the circumstances.

(8)In construing the provisions of section 7(3) and section 9 of this Act and the provisions of subsections (1) [F2and (3) to (7)] of this section, the purposes of a monopoly reference shall be taken to include the purpose of enabling the Director, or the Secretary of State or any other Minister, to determine in any particular circumstances—

(a)whether a monopoly reference could be made under Part IV of this Act, and

(b)if so, whether in those circumstances such a reference could be made by the Director,

and references in those provisions to the person or persons making a monopoly reference shall be construed accordingly.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 S. 10(2) repealed (10.11.1999) by 1998 c. 41, s. 74(1)(3), Sch. 12 para. 1(3)(a), Sch. 14 Pt. I (with s. 73); S.I. 1999/2859, art. 2

F2 Words in s. 10(8) substituted (1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 41, s. 74(1), Sch. 12 para. 1(4) (with s. 73); S.I. 2000/344, art. 2 Sch.

11 Meaning of “complex monopoly situation

”(1)In this Act “complex monopoly situation” means circumstances in which, in accordance with the preceding provisions of this Act, a monopoly situation is for the purposes of this Act to be taken to exist in relation to the supply of goods or services of any description, or in relation to exports of goods of any description from the United Kingdom, by reason that the condition specified in paragraph (c) or in paragraph (d) of section 6(1) or of section 7(1) of this Act is fulfilled, or that the conditions specified in subsection (2) or in subsection (3) of section 8 of this Act are fulfilled.

(2)Any reference in the preceding subsection to paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) of section 6(1) or of section 7(1) of this Act shall be construed as including a reference to that paragraph as modified by section 9(2) of this Act.

12 Powers of Secretary of State in relation to functions of Director

(1)The Secretary of State may give general directions indicating considerations to which the Director should have particular regard in determining the order of priority in which—

(a)matters are to be brought under review in the performance of his duty under section 2(1) of this Act, or

(b)classes of goods or services are to be brought under review by him for the purpose of considering whether a monopoly situation exists or may exist in relation to them.

(2)The Secretary of State may also give general directions indicating—

(a)considerations to which, in cases where it appears to the Director that a practice may adversely affect the interests of consumers in the United Kingdom, he should have particular regard in determining whether to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State under section 2(3)(b) of this Act, or

(b)considerations to which, in cases where it appears to the Director that a consumer trade practice may adversely affect the economic interests of consumers in the United Kingdom, he should have particular regard in determining whether to make a reference to the Advisory Committee under Part II of this Act, or

(c)considerations to which, in cases where it appears to the Director that a monopoly situation exists or may exist, he should have particular regard in determining whether to make a monopoly reference to the Commission under Part IV of this Act.

(3)The Secretary of State, on giving any directions under this section, shall arrange for those directions to be published in such manner as the Secretary of State thinks most suitable in the circumstances.

 
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