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Newspaper Press: Competition

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will bring forward measures to increase competition in the newspaper industry; and if she will make a statement. (139649)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK has in place a robust regime for the promotion of effective competition in all markets and for the effective control of mergers. The UK’s independent competition regulators, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, have powers to enforce the prohibitions in competition law on anti-competitive agreements and behaviour and to investigate markets and take appropriate action to remedy problems that may exist in those markets. They also have powers to assess the effect of mergers on competition in relevant markets. For mergers involving newspapers or other media enterprises, there is also provision under the Enterprise Act 2002 for the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to intervene in order to require a separate consideration of the effect of the merger on the public interest—including on the plurality of different persons having control of media enterprises.