Postal Services Bill - continued        House of Lords
PART II, LICENCES FOR POSTAL SERVICES - continued
Licences - continued

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Licences: grant.     12. - (1) An application for a licence shall be made in writing to the Commission in accordance with such requirements as the Commission may specify.
 
      (2) The Commission may, in particular, require the application to be accompanied by such reasonable application fee as it may determine.
 
      (3) Before granting a licence the Commission shall-
 
 
    (a) publish a notice in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the grant,
 
    (b) serve a copy of the notice on the Council, and
 
    (c) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.
      (4) The notice shall-
 
 
    (a) state that the Commission proposes to grant the licence and the reasons for so proposing, and
 
    (b) state the period (not less than 28 days starting with the date of publication of the notice) within which representations may be made regarding the proposed licence.
      (5) As soon as practicable after granting a licence the Commission shall send a copy of it to the Secretary of State and the Council.
 
Licences: conditions and other provisions.     13. - (1) A licence may include such provisions as the Commission considers appropriate; and a provision need not relate to anything authorised by the licence.
 
      (2) The provisions of a licence may, in particular, require a payment to the Commission on the grant of the licence, or payments while the licence is in force, or both, of such amount or amounts as may be specified in the licence or determined by or under it.
 
      (3) Such provisions of a licence as the Commission considers appropriate may be expressed as conditions.
 
      (4) The Commission shall consult any person who is to be granted a licence about any conditions that the Commission proposes to include in the licence (other than any condition which the Commission is required to include in the licence by virtue of this Act).
 
      (5) References in this Act to a condition of a licence are to a provision of a licence which is expressed as a condition.
 
      (6) Subject to subsection (7) no action shall lie or, in Scotland, be competent in respect of a contravention by a licence holder of a condition of his licence.
 
      (7) Subsection (6) does not affect-
 
 
    (a) a right of action in respect of an act or omission which takes place in the course of doing anything authorised or required by the licence,
 
    (b) the power to make an order under section 22 or 23, confirm an order made under section 23 or impose a penalty under section 30,
 
    (c) the duty to comply with any such order or pay any such penalty and a power to bring proceedings in respect of such a duty.
 
Modification of licences
Modification of licences by agreement.     14. - (1) The Commission may modify the conditions of a licence if its holder consents to the modifications.
 
      (2) Before making modifications under this section the Commission shall-
 
 
    (a) give notice of the modifications, and
 
    (b) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.
      (3) The notice shall state-
 
 
    (a) that the Commission proposes to make the modifications,
 
    (b) the effect of the modifications,
 
    (c) the reasons for the modifications, and
 
    (d) the period (not less than 28 days starting with the date of publication of the notice) within which representations may be made in relation to the proposed modifications.
      (4) A notice under subsection (2) shall be given by-
 
 
    (a) serving a copy of the notice on the licence holder, the Council and the Secretary of State, and
 
    (b) publishing the notice in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters to which the notice relates to the attention of persons likely to be affected by them.
      (5) The Secretary of State may, within the period stated under subsection (3)(d), direct the Commission not to make any proposed modification if he considers that the modification should be made, if at all, under section 17.
 
      (6) As soon as practicable after making modifications under this section the Commission shall send a copy of the modifications to the licence holder, the Council and the Secretary of State.
 
References to the Competition Commission.     15. - (1) The Commission may make to the Competition Commission a reference requiring the Competition Commission to investigate and report on-
 
 
    (a) whether any matters, which are specified in the reference and which relate to the provision of postal services whose provision is authorised or required by a licence, operate against the public interest or may be expected to do so,
 
    (b) if so, whether the effects adverse to the public interest which the matters have or may be expected to have could be remedied or prevented by modifying the conditions of the licence.
      (2) The Commission may at any time by notice given to the Competition Commission vary a reference by adding to the matters specified in it or by excluding from it one or more of those matters; and on receiving a notice the Competition Commission shall give effect to the variation.
 
      (3) The Commission may, for the purpose of assisting the Competition Commission in its investigation on the reference or the reference as varied, specify in the reference or a variation of it-
 
 
    (a) any effects adverse to the public interest which it considers that the matters specified in the reference or variation have or may be expected to have,
 
    (b) any modifications of the conditions of the licence by which it considers that those effects could be remedied or prevented.
      (4) As soon as practicable after making a reference or variation the Commission shall give notice of it by-
 
 
    (a) serving a copy of the reference or variation on the licence holder and the Secretary of State, and
 
    (b) publishing particulars of the reference or variation in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.
      (5) The Secretary of State may, before the end of the period of 28 days starting with the day on which he receives the copy, direct the Competition Commission not to proceed with the reference or not to give effect to the variation.
 
      (6) The Commission shall, for the purpose of assisting the Competition Commission in carrying out an investigation on a reference under this section, give to the Competition Commission-
 
 
    (a) any information the Commission has which relates to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Competition Commission requests,
 
    (b) any information the Commission has which relates to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Commission considers that it would be appropriate for it to give without a request,
 
    (c) any other assistance which the Commission is able to give in relation to matters within the scope of the investigation and which the Competition Commission requests.
      (7) In carrying out the investigation concerned the Competition Commission shall have regard to any information given under subsection (6).
 
      (8) In deciding under this section whether a matter operates, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest the Competition Commission shall have regard to the matters as respects which duties are imposed on the Commission by sections 3 and 5.
 
Reports on references.     16. - (1) In making a report on a reference under section 15 the Competition Commission-
 
 
    (a) shall include definite conclusions on the questions contained in the reference and such an account of its reasons for the conclusions as it considers facilitates a proper understanding of the questions and of the conclusions,
 
    (b) if it concludes that any of the matters specified in the reference operate against the public interest or may be expected to do so, shall specify the effects adverse to the public interest which the matters have or may be expected to have,
 
    (c) if it concludes that any adverse effects so specified could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the conditions of the licence, shall specify modifications by which the effects could be remedied or prevented.
      (2) A report of the Competition Commission on a reference under section 15 shall be made to the Commission.
 
      (3) The Commission-
 
 
    (a) shall on receiving such a report serve a copy on the Secretary of State, and
 
    (b) shall, after the end of the specified period and subject to subsection (4), publish the report in such manner as the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it.
      (4) If the Secretary of State considers that the publication of any matter would be against the public interest or any person's commercial interests, he may before the end of the specified period direct the Commission to exclude the matter from every copy of the report to be published as mentioned in subsection (3)(b).
 
      (5) In this section "the specified period" means the period of 14 days starting with the day on which the Secretary of State receives the copy under subsection (3)(a).
 
Modification following report.     17. - (1) This section applies if a report of the Competition Commission on a reference under section 15-
 
 
    (a) includes conclusions to the effect that any of the matters specified in the reference operate against the public interest or may be expected to do so,
 
    (b) specifies effects adverse to the public interest which the matters have or may be expected to have,
 
    (c) includes conclusions to the effect that the effects could be remedied or prevented by modifications of the conditions of the licence, and
 
    (d) specifies modifications by which the effects could be remedied or prevented.
      (2) The Commission shall, subject as follows, make such modifications of the conditions of the licence as it considers are needed for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in the report.
 
      (3) Before making any such modifications, the Commission shall-
 
 
    (a) have regard to the modifications specified in the report,
 
    (b) give notice of its proposed modifications, and
 
    (c) consider any representations made in accordance with the notice and not withdrawn.
      (4) If, after considering any such representations, the Commission decides to make any modifications for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in the report, the Commission shall give notice of the modifications to the Competition Commission.
 
      (5) If no direction is given to the Commission under section 18(2) within the period of four weeks starting with the date on which the notice under subsection (4) is given, the Commission shall make the modifications set out in the notice.
 
      (6) If a direction is given to the Commission under section 18(2)(b) within the period of four weeks starting with the date on which the notice under subsection (4) is given, the Commission shall make the modifications which are set out in the notice and are not specified in the direction.
 
 
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