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UK: Bauer’s takeover of radio businesses in regulator crosshairs

 |  July 24, 2019
The Competition and Markets Authority  has been investigating Bauer Media’s completed takeover of radio businesses it bought from Celador Entertainment Limited, Lincs FM Group Limited, UKRD Group Limited and The Wireless Group Limited.

The CMA’s primary concern is how these transactions could affect the future viability of First Radio Sales Limited (FRS). FRS currently sells radio advertising on behalf of over 100 independent local radio stations across the UK, and is the only firm providing these stations with access to national advertisers.

Following its initial, Phase 1, investigation, the CMA has found that FRS may not be able to continue to stay in business after Bauer Media buys up a large number of the stations that currently make up its customer base. Without FRS, independent local radio stations could lose access to revenues from national radio advertising sales, which could, in turn, make it more difficult for them to compete at the local level. As a result, customers for radio advertising could face higher prices and a lower quality service.

The CMA also found competition concerns as a result of Bauer acquiring some of the key rivals to their existing local radio stations in the West of England, West Midlands and Yorkshire regions.

Full Content: Gov UK

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