Communications Bill—
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lordscontinued

House of Lords

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Before Clause 340

 

THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

280Insert the following new Clause—
  "Media plurality public interest consideration
(1)  Section 58 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (specified considerations) shall be amended as follows.
(2)  After subsection (2) there shall be inserted—
    "(2C)  The public interest in—
    (a)  the maintenance of a range of broadcast media owners and voices sufficient to satisfy a variety of tastes and interests;
    (b)  the promotion and maintenance of a plurality of broadcast media owners, each of whom demonstrates a commitment to the impartial presentation of news and factual broadcast programming; and
    (c)  the promotion and maintenance, in all media including newspapers, of a balanced and accurate presentation of news, the free expression of opinion and a clear differentiation between the two;
      is specified in this section."
(3)  In subsection (3), after the words "any consideration", there shall be inserted "(other than the consideration specified in subsection (2C))"."
281Insert the following new Clause—
  "Adaptation of role of OFT in initial investigations and reports
(1)  Section 44 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (investigation and report by OFT in public interest cases) shall be amended as follows.
(2)  In subsection (3)(b), after the word "concerned", there shall be inserted "(other than the media plurality public interest consideration)".
(3)  After subsection (5) there shall be inserted—
    "(5B)  The report may, in particular, contain a summary of any representations about the case which have been received by the OFT and which relate to the media plurality public interest consideration mentioned in the intervention notice concerned and which is or may be relevant to the Secretary of State's decision as to whether to make a reference under section 45."
(4)  After subsection (7) there shall be inserted—
    "(7A)  In this Part "media plurality public interest consideration" means any consideration which, at the time of the giving of the intervention notice concerned, is specified in section 58(2C).
    (7B)  In this Part—
     "broadcast media owners" means persons holding broadcasting licences under the Broadcasting Act 1990, the Broadcasting Act 1996 or the Communications Act 2003 and persons controlling bodies corporate for the purposes of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Act 1990;
     "voices" means views and opinions represented to a significant degree in the broadcast media.""
282Insert the following new Clause—
  "Additional investigation and report by OFCOM
  After section 44 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (investigation and report by OFT in public interest cases) there shall be inserted—
    "44AAdditional investigation and report by OFCOM: media plurality
    (1)  Subsection (2) applies where—
    (a)  the Secretary of State has given an intervention notice in relation to a relevant merger situation; and
    (b)  the intervention notice mentions the media plurality public interest consideration.
    (2)  OFCOM shall, within such period as the Secretary of State may require, give a report to the Secretary of State on the effect of the consideration on the case.
    (3)  The report shall contain—
    (a)  advice and recommendations which may be relevant to the Secretary of State's decision as to whether to make a reference under section 45; and
    (b)  a summary of any representations about the case which have been received by OFCOM.
    (4)  OFCOM shall carry out such investigations as they consider appropriate for the purposes of producing a report under this section.""
283Insert the following new Clause—
  "Enforcement powers in relation to media mergers
  In Schedule 8 to the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) (provision that may be contained in certain enforcement orders) after paragraph 20 there shall be inserted—
     

    "Media mergers

    (1)  This paragraph applies in relation to any order—
    (a)  which is to be made following the giving of—
    (i)  an intervention notice which mentions the media plurality public interest consideration; or
    (ii)  a special intervention notice which mentions a consideration specified in section 58(2C); and
    (b)  to which the consideration concerned is still relevant.
    (2)  The provisions of paragraph 20A(2) to (5) apply to an order under this paragraph (with the addition of the words "or of a licensed programme service" at the end of paragraph (c) of sub-paragraph (4)).""
284Insert the following new Clause—
  "Interim retention of certain restrictions on non-EEA ownership
(1)  For paragraph 1(2) and (3) of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act, there shall be substituted—
    "(2)  Sub-paragraph (1) shall apply in relation to any Broadcasting Act licence other than a licence to provide a Channel 3 service and a Channel 5 licence as if paragraphs (a) and (b) (and the reference to those paragraphs in paragraph (i)) were omitted."
(2)  OFCOM shall, within a year of the coming into force of this section and from time to time thereafter, carry out a review for the purposes of this section.
(3)  Such a review shall consider whether, in the opinion of OFCOM—
(a)  the provisions of sections 273, 274 and 280 to 284 are operating in such a manner as to provide for a fair and transparent programme supply market with respect to Channels 3 and 5;
(b)  the relevant provisions of Chapter 4 of this Part are operating in such a manner as to provide for effective content regulation of Channel 3 and Channel 5 services;
(c)  the provisions of sections 260 to 267 are operating in such a manner as to provide for a continuing significant contribution by Channel 3 and Channel 5 services towards the achievement of the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United Kingdom specified in section 260;
(d)  the provisions of sections 344 to 349 provide adequate additional safeguards in case of change of control of Channel 3 services or Channel 5; and
(e)  the powers available to OFCOM under the Competition Act 1998 (c. 41), Part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (c. 40) and sections 309 to 311 of this Act are adequate to promote effective competition in the broadcasting market in the United Kingdom.
(4)  When, as a result of a review carried out in accordance with subsection (2), OFCOM considers that each condition specified in subsection (3) has been met, it shall make a report to that effect to the Secretary of State, giving reasons.
(5)  The Secretary of State shall lay any report made to him under subsection (4) before Parliament.
(6)  When a report has been laid before Parliament in accordance with subsection (5), the Secretary of State may by order repeal paragraph 1(1)(a) and (b) of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act and make such consequential amendments to that Part of that Schedule and to this Act as he thinks fit.
(7)  No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (6) unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House."
 

Clause 340

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

285Page 295, line 7, leave out paragraph (a)
286Page 295, line 9, leave out paragraph (b)
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX
THE BARONESS HOWE OF IDLICOTE
THE LORD BRENNAN

287Page 295, line 9, at end insert—
"(   )  paragraph 2 (disqualification for religious bodies);"
288Page 295, line 10, leave out subsections (2) and (3)
289Page 296, line 27, leave out subsections (5) to (7)
 

THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

290Page 296, line 32, leave out subsection (6) and insert—
"(6)  No order is to be made under subsection (5) other than one that is confined to giving effect to recommendations made by OFCOM in a report of a review under section 384."
 

Schedule 14

 

THE LORD PUTTNAM
THE LORD CRICKHOWELL
THE LORD McNALLY
THE LORD HUSSEY OF NORTH BRADLEY

291Page 430, line 23, at end insert—
 "6A      No order is to be made under paragraph 6 other than one that is confined to giving effect to recommendations made by OFCOM in a report of a review under section 384."
292Page 430, line 23, at end insert —
 "PART 1A
CHANNEL 5 LICENCES
 

Ban on newspaper proprietors holding a Channel 5 licence

 6A   (1)   A person is not to hold a Channel 5 licence if—
(a)  he runs a national newspaper which for the time being has a national market share of 20 per cent or more; or
(b)  he runs national newspapers which for the time being together have a national market share of 20 per cent or more.
(2)      For the purposes of this paragraph, each of the following shall be treated as holding a Channel 5 licence—
(a)  the actual licence holder; and
(b)  every person connected with the actual licence holder.
(3)      The provisions of paragraphs 2 to 4 of this Schedule shall apply for the purposes of this Part of this Schedule insofar as they relate to national newspapers as if a Channel 5 licence were a licence to provide a Channel 3 service."
 

Clause 343

 

THE VISCOUNT ASTOR

293Page 298, line 20, leave out subsections (1) and (2) and insert—
"(   )  Subsection (9) of section 32 of the 1990 Act (limits on participation in nominated news providers) shall cease to have effect."
 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD McNALLY

 The above-named Lords give notice of their intention to oppose the Question that Clause 343 stand part of the Bill.
 

Clause 344

 

THE BARONESS BLACKSTONE

294Page 301, line 13, leave out from beginning to "in" in line 14 and insert—
"(ii)  is involved, to a substantial extent, in the provision of the programmes included"
295Page 301, line 15, leave out "to be likely to be" and insert "is likely to become"
 

Clause 346

 

THE BARONESS BLACKSTONE

296Page 303, line 34, leave out from beginning to "in" in line 35 and insert—
"(ii)  is involved, to a substantial extent, in the provision of the programmes included"
297Page 303, line 36, leave out "to be likely to be" and insert "is likely to become"
 

Clause 348

 

THE BARONESS BLACKSTONE

298Page 305, line 20, leave out from beginning to "in" in line 21 and insert—
"(ii)  is involved, to a substantial extent, in the provision of the programmes included"
299Page 305, line 22, leave out "to be likely to be" and insert "is likely to become"
 

Clause 350

 

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE BARONESS WILCOX

300Page 306, line 34, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert "for the words "to achieve the result that the affairs of the body are conducted in accordance with his wishes" there shall be substituted "to control or materially to influence the policy of the body""
 

Clause 351

 

THE BARONESS WHITAKER

301Page 308, line 18, at end insert—
"(l)  the extent to which news and current affairs programmes included during the period are serving all groups within the community and such international and national coverage is relevant to their interests."
 

Clause 352

 

THE LORD McNALLY
THE BARONESS WALMSLEY

302Leave out Clause 352 and insert the following new Clause—
  "Grants to community media
(1)  OFCOM shall make such payments as they consider appropriate to the credit of a fund established under this section, to be known as the Community Media Fund ("the Fund").
(2)  The Fund shall be under the management of a body established for the purposes of this section, which shall be called the Community Media Foundation ("the Foundation").
(3)  The Foundation shall consist of—
(a)  a chairman appointed by OFCOM, and
(b)  such number of other members appointed by OFCOM, not being less than four nor more than eight, as they may from time to time determine.
(4)  The Fund may be applied by the Foundation in the making of grants for—
(a)  the establishment and development of community media,
(b)  the making of programmes to be carried by community media,
(c)  the training of persons connected with community media;
(d)  the provision of support services to community media, and
(e)  other related purposes.
(5)  When making any grant out of the Fund in pursuance of subsection (4), the Foundation may impose such conditions as they think fit, including conditions requiring the grant to be repaid in certain circumstances.
(6)  The Foundation shall perform their functions under this section with respect to the making of grants out of the Fund in such manner as they consider will secure a range and diversity of community media throughout the United Kingdom, taking account of the greater need of areas and localities which are economically disadvantaged.
(7)  OFCOM shall so exercise their power under subsection (3) to appoint the members of the Foundation as to secure that a majority of the members are persons who appear to them to represent a broad range of knowledge and experience of community media.
(8)  In this section—
 "community media" means communications services provided primarily for the benefit of members of the public in a defined geographical locality or in a particular community and not operated by the BBC or for commercial purposes.
(9)  In subsection (8)—
 "communications services" includes—
(a)  radio and television broadcasting;
(b)  electronic communications networks and services; and
(c)  content services carried by services falling within paragraph (a) or (b)."

 
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©Parliamentary copyright 2003
29 April 2003