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TMCNet:  Global Radio backs down over Competition Commission ruling

[December 13, 2013]

Global Radio backs down over Competition Commission ruling

(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Global Radio has given up its fight against a Competition Commission ruling on its £70m GMG Radio acquisition and will sell off some stations next year.

The UK's largest commercial radio broadcaster took its case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal after regulators ruled it must sell stations in seven areas of the UK to appease competition concerns about last year's purchase of the third largest player in the sector, which owns the Real and Smooth networks.


Last month the CAT dismissed the appeal, lodged by Global after the Competition Commission ruling in May, with the radio company calling the regulator "outdated" in its assessment of the decision.

On Friday Global said that it will not appeal the CAT's decision, and that it will go ahead with the sale of the stations in "early 2014".

"The Competition Commission found that Global was cleared to operate all the merged businesses' stations in London and the West Midlands, and also cleared the merged business at the national level in terms of both national sales and programming content," the company said in a statement. "The Competition Commission, however, required divestment of stations in seven local markets." The Competition Commission has previously noted that it believed Bauer, the UK's second largest radio operator, would fall foul of competition law if it tried to take on most of GMG Radio.

The third biggest player, TalkSport-owner UTV Media, offered a significantly lower sum when it was outbid for GMG Radio by Global Radio.

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(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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