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Bauer Takes Complete Ownership Of Radio Advertising Co. After CMA Approval

 |  May 5, 2020

Bauer Media has announced that it has taken complete ownership of radio advertising agency First Radio Sales (FRS). The media firm got a 50% stake in the ad sales business via its acquisition last year of local radio group UKRD. It has now bought the other 50% from the Wireless Group, the radio division of newspaper business News UK.

It was Bauer getting 50% of First Radio Sales that caused problems when the media company sought competition regulator approval for a flurry of local radio acquisitions it instigated in early 2019, including the UKRD deal.

FRS sells national advertising for various independently owned commercial radio stations. The UK Competition & Markets Authority stated that, if Bauer sought to close down FRS, or more likely merge it with its existing ad sales business, that would reduce the options for smaller radio stations still seeking sales representative. That therefore could result in those smaller radio stations having to pay higher commission rates.

To overcome those concerns, Bauer told the regulator that it would commit to continue providing ad sales representation to those third party radio stations which have previously utilised FRS on the same terms as they have enjoyed to date, for at least the next ten years.

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