HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 cc53-4W
Mr. Pendry

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has made representations to the Directorate for Restrictive Practices Abuse of Dominant Positions in Brussels to protest at its directions to certain British major sports organisations requesting detailed information in 21 days under threat of heavy fines if unable to comply; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Denis Howell

Under the provisions of Regulation No. 17 of 1962. adopted by the Council of Ministers, I am advised that the Commission is entitled to seek information to assist it in discharging its obligations under Article 89 of the Treaty of Rome to investigate practices which may restrict competition within the Common Market. I share the concern of hon. Members about the way in which the Commission has chosen to discharge its responsibility in this case, and I am considering whether representations should be made about this. I shah be contacting the organisations principally concerned. Meanwhile, if those organisations which have received these requests consider them to be unreasonable they should themselves take this up with the Commission.