asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation to make express provision, on the consideration of possible mergers by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, for it to take account of the effects of mergers on the future prospects of the firms concerned, of the implications for the United Kingdom investment programmes of firms taken over by overseas interests, and of the existing and past financial standing of the firm proposing the takeover.
Section 84 of the Fair Trading Act 1973 provides that in considering whether a merger may be expected to operate against the public interest, the Commission shall take into account all matters which appear to them to be relevant. My right hon. Friend has no plans for further legislation.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy that all overseas takeover bids for British firms opposed by the board of the company in question are referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
My right hon. Friend takes into account all relevant factors in his consideration of mergers, but has announced that decisions on reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission will be made primarily on competitive grounds.