Local media and the OFT review of the merger regime

20 July 2010

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has confirmed it is to follow up on Lord Carter's interim Digital Britain report by launching a full consultation on the local and regional media ownership regime, with a call for "views from interested stakeholders" on the key issues for the review of the merger regime to be submitted by 28th February

Although the OFT’s announcement notes the “pressures” on local and regional media, the evidence points to a local media sector in steep decline, a trend which the UK’s recession will only exacerbate

Local media will need to consolidate further in the near future if jobs and the supply of local media to communities are to be preserved in a period of declining revenues, and the merger regime (which applies to all UK specific mergers) is a barrier to this consolidation and places a disproportionate burden on local media

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