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Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade, if he is satisfied that there are adequate provisions to ensure that one party in a takeover bid is not given information concerning a company's performance that is not generally available to other shareholders; and what action there is available to him currently to prosecute those in default on such a matter.

[pursuant to his reply, 17 March 1980]: This is dealt with in the non-statutory rules of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, so a defaulter would not be liable to prosecution. I am not aware of any case for importing these rules into statute. The Companies Bill now before Parliament will make insider dealing a criminal offence, so the authorities will in certain circumstances be able to prosecute persons who have dealt on the basis of price sensitive information.