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Communications Bill


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

    330

 

           (5)           In preparing any advice or information under this section, the Secretary

of State shall consult the OFT, OFCOM, the Commission and such other

persons as he considers appropriate.”

 377   General advisory functions of OFCOM in relation to newspaper mergers

After section 106A of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) there shall be inserted—

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       “106B General advisory functions of OFCOM

           (1)           OFCOM may, in connection with any case on which they are required

to give a report by virtue of section 44A or 61A, give such advice as they

consider appropriate to the Secretary of State in relation to—

                  (a)                 any report made in such a case by the Commission under

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section 50 or 65; and

                  (b)                 the taking by the Secretary of State of enforcement action under

Schedule 7.

           (2)           OFCOM may, if requested to do so by the Secretary of State, give such

other advice as they consider appropriate to the Secretary of State in

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connection with any case on which they are required to give a report by

virtue of section 44A or 61A.

           (3)           OFCOM shall publish any advice given by them under this section but

advice given by them in relation to a report of the Commission under

section 50 or 65 or related enforcement action shall not be published

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before the report itself is published.”

 378   Other general functions of OFCOM in relation to newspaper mergers

After section 119 of the Enterprise Act 2002 there shall be inserted—

“Further provision about newspaper mergers

       119A Other general functions of OFCOM in relation to this Part

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

review information about matters relating to the carrying out of their

functions under this Part.

           (2)           That function is to be carried out with a view to (among other things)

ensuring that OFCOM has sufficient information to take informed

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decisions and to carry out their other functions effectively.

           (3)           In carrying out that function OFCOM may carry out, commission or

support (financially or otherwise) research.

           (4)           Section 3 of the Communications Act 2003 (general duties of OFCOM)

shall not apply in relation to functions of OFCOM under this Part.”

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 379   Monitoring role for OFT in relation to newspaper mergers

After section 119A of the Enterprise Act 2002 there shall be inserted—

 

 

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

    331

 

       “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

Secretary of State in deciding whether to give a special intervention

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

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           (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.

           (3)           That function does not extend to obtaining, compiling or keeping under

review information with a view to carrying out a detailed analysis in

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each case of the operation in relation to that case of the consideration

specified in section 58(2A) or (2B).”

Supplemental provisions of Chapter 2

 380   Enforcement powers in relation to newspaper mergers

In Schedule 8 to the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (provision that may be

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contained in certain enforcement orders) after paragraph 20 there shall be

inserted—

“Newspaper mergers

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

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

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                           (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

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

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                       (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.

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

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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);

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

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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;

                    (d)                   prohibiting consultation or co-operation between

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subsidiaries.

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

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

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

    332

 

 381   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

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

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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)

or (2B) of that Act”.

 382   Further provision in connection with newspaper mergers

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     (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

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

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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.

     (4)    Section 395 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).

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Part 6

Miscellaneous and Supplemental

Annual report

 383   Annual report on the Secretary of State’s functions

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

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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—

           (a)           this Act;

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

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

as not comprised in this Act;

           (d)           the 1990 Act;

           (e)           the 1996 Act.

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

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           (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

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

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

40

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

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 6 — Miscellaneous and Supplemental

    333

 

     (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.

     (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

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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.

Review of media ownership

 384   Review of media ownership

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     (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

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

     (2)    This section applies to—

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           (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 276 of this Act and section 32 of the 1990 Act;

           (d)           whatever provision (if any) has been made under section 278 of this

Act; and

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           (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.

     (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

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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

exercise by the Secretary of State of—

           (a)           his power to make an order under section 340(5);

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           (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

2002 (newspaper mergers).

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

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make orders under—

           (a)           section 277;

           (b)           section 278; and

           (c)           section 343(3).

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

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

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

 

 

 
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