Clause 303 - Provision of investigative assistance to overseas regulators

Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:10 pm on 20 November 2023.

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Amendments made: 132, page 205, line 19, leave out sub-paragraph (ii).

This amendment, and Amendment 141, replace the current prohibition on a regulator providing investigative assistance to an overseas regulator under Chapter 1 of Part 5 of the Bill in relation to the investigation or prosecution of crimes with a provision that such assistance can only be provided under or in accordance with a “qualifying cooperation arrangement” (defined by Amendment 135).

Amendment 133, page 205, line 23, at beginning insert

“where the request is made otherwise than under or in accordance with a qualifying cooperation arrangement,”.

This amendment provides that the Secretary of State is only required to authorise the provision of investigative assistance under Chapter 1 of Part 5 of the Bill where the request for such assistance is made otherwise than under or in accordance with a “qualifying cooperation arrangement” (defined by Amendment 135).

Amendment 134, page 206, line 7, at end insert—

“Part 6 of EA 2002 (cartel offence): the CMA exercising its powers under sections 193 and 194 of EA 2002 as if, by assisting O’s carrying out of functions which correspond or are similar to the functions of the CMA under Part 6 of that Act, the CMA were carrying out an investigation under section 192 of that Act”.

This amendment allows the CMA to provide investigative assistance to an overseas regulator by exercising its power under sections 193 and 194 of the Enterprise Act 2002 where the overseas regulator has functions which correspond or are similar to the functions of the CMA under Part 6 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the cartel offence).

Amendment 135, page 207, line 9, at end insert—

““cooperation arrangement” means an arrangement or agreement relating in whole or in part to cooperation in matters relating to the subject matter of a relevant enactment;

“qualifying cooperation arrangement” means any cooperation arrangement—

(a) to which the United Kingdom and the country or territory of O are parties, and

(b) which provides for the provision of mutual assistance as between the United Kingdom and that country or territory, or as between R and persons or bodies in that country or territory, in relation to matters relating to—

(i) functions of R under a relevant enactment, or

(ii) functions of O which correspond or are similar to those functions.”—(Kevin Hollinrake.)

This amendment defines “cooperation arrangement” and “qualifying cooperation arrangement” for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 5 of the Bill.