“The OFT found that the loss of competition between the parties in a number of regional and local areas gave rise to concerns that the merger could result in increased prices for advertisers,” the antitrust agency said in a statement.
Global Radio, which owns Britain’s Classic FM station, purchased GMG Radio, which operates several stations across the U.K. under the Real or Smooth brand, in June. It didn’t disclose the price it paid to Guardian Media Group.
Maria Miller, the U.K.’s culture secretary, decided earlier today that the deal shouldn’t be reviewed on media plurality grounds and should be treated as an ordinary merger, the OFT said. Her predecessor, Jeremy Hunt, previously ordered the agency and media regulator Ofcom to examine whether the deal was in the public interest.
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