§ Mr. Dunnachie
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to prevent bids being made to take over United Kingdom companies by foreign companies who are protected in their own countries by laws and other devices prohibiting reciprocal action; what representations he has received from Cadbury Schweppes seeking such action; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
In considering whether a merger or proposed merger should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission both the Director General of Fair Trading and the Secretary of State take into account all relevant aspects of the case. One consideration which may be relevant in some cases is the extent to which United Kingdom companies have reciprocal freedom to acquire companies based in the home country of the prospective acquirer.
I have received no representations from Cadbury Schweppes on the issue of reciprocity.