§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will make a study of the impact of premium merchandising on competition; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what representations he has received about the quality and availability of premiums advertised with consumer products; and if he will make a statement;
(3) whether he has had discussions with the British Premium Merchandising Association and other interested bodies as to the quality of goods offered as premiums with consumer products; and if he will make a statement;
(4) if he will take steps to make goods offered as premiums with consumer products subject to the Sale of Goods Act in order to ensure merchantable quality;
(5) if he will make a study of the effect on competition of the use of premiums by component and raw material sellers to induce purchases by manufacturers; what information he has, as to the extent of such practices; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
I have received no representations on these matters and therefore have held no discussions. I do not think a general study of the effects of premium offers on competition is necessary. Where a particular scheme appears likely to restrict competition, the Director General of Fair Trading may investigate it under the Competition Act 1980. Premium offers are briefly considered in the report of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on "Full-line Forcing and Tie-in Sales" which I have received and will publish shortly.10W
I am informed that when a free gift is offered in addition to the goods which the customer agrees to buy, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 applies to the free gift.