OFT approach to local and regional newspaper mergers

20 July 2010

To coincide with the Digital Britain Report, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) released its report on local media merger rules, confirming their application to newspaper consolidation although, perhaps significantly, it will ask Ofcom for “views... arising from its understanding of media markets”

Costs of compliance with the merger regime will remain a very significant barrier to consolidation of newspapers, especially for local newspaper titles serving small catchment areas, and we anticipate no appetite for engaging with the OFT

If local newspapers cannot consolidate further in the near future, the recession and ongoing structural shift to the internet will force title closures and job losses and also weaken local economies. The supply of local media to communities will be impaired to the detriment of democracy and plurality

Recent reports