Updated: Provisional findings for Global’s acquisition of GMG released

Feb 2013  Radio News

The initial findings raised objections to areas of the takeover inquiry on competition grounds, particularly where stations overlap.

The Commission says there may be issues in seven areas, which they define as having a ‘substantial lessening of competition’. The areas identified are: East Midlands, Cardiff, North Wales, Manchester, The North East, South & West Yorkshire and Scotland, mostly areas where GMG Radio operates.

However in the provisional findings, the CC has said that Global Radio will be cleared to sell the merged company’s national sales, the merged company’s national S&P and to keep both parties stations in London and the West Midlands. 

Further engagement will take place between Global Radio, Real and Smooth Ltd and the CC over the next couple of months ahead of a final decision which is expected by the end of March or May.

Historically, provisional findings by the Competition Commission have been significantly different to final decisions.

A spokesperson for Global Radio told RadioToday:“Global Radio & Real & Smooth Ltd (RSL) note that the Competition Commission (CC) has today released its provisional findings into this transaction.

“It is important to note that as provisional findings, these do not represent the CC’s final report, and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment further on these provisional findings.

“RSL will continue to be run separately from Global Radio whilst the CC finalise their review. Global Radio will however continue to represent RSL’s national airtime sales, as it has done since 2006.”

The takeover of GMG Radio was made by Global Radio in June 2012 and following a referral to the Secretary of Culture, Maria Miller announced the deal will not be investigated on grounds of plurality.

Both companies, Global Radio & Real and Smooth Ltd will continue to operate independently in a “Hold Separate” situation.

The original story can be read on Radio Today by clicking here.

Also reported on Radio Today the Competition Commision has offered three possible options for taking over Real and Smooth Limited: “The three options are full divestiture of the acquired business Real and Smooth Ltd to a suitable purchaser, divestiture of Real and Smooth Ltd excluding its operations in local areas where no SLC is expected to arise, and partial divestiture of certain local operations to address individual areas of overlap where an SLC is expected to arise.”

If the third option is chosen, Global Radio will offload at least one station within seven areas including, East Midlands, Cardiff, North Wales, Greater Manchester, North-East, South and West Yorkshire and Central Scotland. 

The CC will consider any alternative options and are inviting written submissions for consideration by 5pm, 27th February 2013.

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