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Division No. 1


Ackner, L.
Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Ampthill, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Bledisloe, V.
Bowness, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Burnham, L.
Caithness, E.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Colwyn, L.
Condon, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crickhowell, L. [Teller]
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Dholakia, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Fearn, L.
Ferrers, E.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fowler, L.
Gavron, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greaves, L.
Greengross, B.
Hamwee, B.
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Jacobs, L.
Jopling, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lewis of Newnham, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Ludford, B.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L. [Teller]
Maddock, B.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Morgan, L.
Newby, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Parekh, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Perry of Walton, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Prashar, B.
Quinton, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rennard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sandwich, E.
Sawyer, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Sheldon, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Waddington, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Windlesham, L.


Aberdare, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Andrews, B.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashcroft, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bhatia, L.
Biffen, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Borrie, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carter, L.
Chalfont, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crathorne, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Denham, L.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fitt, L.
Flather, B.
Freeman, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lindsay, E.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Manchester, Bp.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Mitchell, L.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Moser, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nicol, B.
Noakes, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Rooker, L.
Saatchi, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Seccombe, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon, V.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stallard, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Trumpington, B.
Turnberg, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Warner, L.
Watson of Invergowrie, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord President of the Council)

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

8 Jul 2003 : Column 157

4.31 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 2:

    Page 3, line 23, after "a" insert "sufficient"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 2, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 83 to 116, 118, 120, 121, 132 to 136 and 148. I made clear on Report that I intended to bring forward amendments at Third Reading to introduce a media plurality test. I have now done so and the amendments are before us. These amendments will introduce an additional level of protection to plurality by extending the public interest test in the Enterprise Act to enable a media plurality test to be carried out in the event of a qualifying media merger. A qualifying merger is one where enterprises cease to be distinct and either the UK turnover of the acquired enterprise exceeds 70 million or the new entity has at least a 25 per cent share of supply of goods or services of any description in the United Kingdom or in a substantial part of the United Kingdom. We shall also be able to look at a qualifying merger where an existing share of 25 per cent or more changes hands.

By extending the scope of the Enterprise Act so that qualifying mergers could be subject to a media plurality test, the Secretary of State will be able to intervene where she believes a merger would have a damaging effect on plurality. In principle, all media mergers, including cross-media mergers, can be subject to a media plurality test. However, we intend as a matter of policy normally to apply the test in practice to those areas only where the current rules are being removed completely. That would mean that usually the Secretary of State would consider intervening on plurality grounds only in the following areas: national newspapers with more than 20 per cent of the market/Channel 5; national newspapers with more than 20 per cent of the market/national radio service; Channel 3; Channel 3/national radio; Channel 5/national radio; and national radio/national radio.

As I explained on Report, we do not believe that it would normally be desirable or sensible to intervene and apply the test to areas where there have never been media ownership restrictions or to areas where there

8 Jul 2003 : Column 158

continue to be ownership rules, as the continuing rules will protect plurality. In order to give the media industry some degree of certainty, the Government will publish guidance setting out in more detail the areas where the Secretary of State is likely to consider intervening on media plurality grounds. Guidance obviously cannot fetter the Secretary of State's discretion and we would not rule out its wider use in an extreme and rare case.

The test will ensure that the Secretary of State can ask Ofcom and, if necessary, the Competition Commission to investigate any merger which threatened plurality. It will prevent unacceptable levels of cross-media dominance and ensure a minimum level of plurality. The media plurality test would sit alongside the special— page 26 of the brief is missing. I had to be caught out some time. Thank you; it is missing in this version too. I shall correct any self-evident errors—or perhaps not. With real apologies, I shall start that sentence again.

The media plurality test would sit alongside the special newspaper public interest test, which would continue to consider newspaper-only mergers. So it is a rather important page. The plurality provisions will be brought into force before or at the same time as the lifting of restrictions on media ownership contained in the Bill. The Secretary of State's powers of intervention under Sections 59 to 66 of the Enterprise Act will extend to the media plurality provisions.

I hope that the House will allow me a few minutes to explain the effect of the main provisions set out in these amendments, although to some extent I have done so twice already. Amendment No. 85 inserts a new public interest consideration into Section 58 of the Enterprise Act 2002. It specifies that public interest considerations may be looked at in mergers that satisfy the relevant jurisdictional criteria.

Under the Enterprise Act, the vast majority of mergers will be considered only under the test of whether they would result in a substantial lessening of competition. However, the legislation also makes provision for intervention by the Secretary of State on specified public interest grounds. Currently, the only specified consideration is national security. Clause 372 specifies new newspaper public interest considerations. This clause adds a new subsection (2)(c) to Section 58 and sets out a public interest consideration that may apply to media and cross-media mergers.

As a result, the Secretary of State will have the ability to intervene in relation to mergers involving media enterprises and to investigate the impact of the merger on the need, in relation to every different audience in the United Kingdom or in a particular area or locality of the UK, for there to be a sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media enterprises serving that audience; the need for the availability throughout the United Kingdom of a wide range of broadcasting which, taken as a whole, is both of high quality and calculated to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and interests; and the need for persons carrying on media enterprises, and for those with control of such enterprises, to have a genuine

8 Jul 2003 : Column 159

commitment to the attainment in relation to broadcasting of the standards objectives set out in Section 315 of the Bill. I commend these amendments to the House. I beg to move Amendment No. 2.

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