Minister consents to newspaper titles transfer to Regional Independent Media Holdings

United Kingdom

The Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs has given consent to the transfer to Regional Independent Media Holdings (“RIM”) of several regional newspapers owned by Scottish County Press (“SCP”), including Musselburgh News, East Lothian News and Peebles Times.

The consent was given pursuant to sections 58(4) of the FTA 1973. On the basis that the circulation of each of the seven newspaper titles was less than 50,000 copies for each paper, the Minister used his discretion to consent to the transfer without requiring a report from the Competition Commission. Under the special rules contained in the FTA in relation to the transfer of newspaper titles, a transfer of titles whose circulation exceeds 500,000 copies per day will be void without the consent of the Secretary of State. In usual circumstances, this will require a reference to the Competition Commission.

(DTI Press Release P/2000/55)