§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what powers(a) her Department (b) the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and (c) the Office of Fair Trading would have to intervene in any proposed take-over of one or more of the three companies holding independent national radio licences; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Nigel Griffiths
It would, in the first instance, be for the Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT) to consider any actual proposal which appeared to give rise to a qualifying merger situation under the Fair Trading Act 1973. In the light of the DGFT's advice, my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, would decide whether or not to refer the merger to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission for investigation and report. She has said that her policy will be to refer mergers primarily on competition grounds. Each case is considered on its individual merits.