UK’s Ofcom Faces Calls for Radio Merger Safeguards

27 October 2004

The agreed merger between UK radio stations Capital and GWR has drawn fire from rival media groups.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has been besieged by demands for safeguards to ensure the merged company does not abuse its position when it controls 40% of the radio advertising market [WAMN: 30-Sept-2004].

Among the suggested policing measures are a five-year ban on Capital-GWR applying for FM licences and a limit on its digital radio expansion.

Media agencies have so far failed to reach a verdict on the benefits or otherwise of the merger, which is expected to be referred to the government's Competition Commission.

Says Richard Jacobs, head of radio at MediaCom: "It should help stop the radio industry from being so disparate and fragmented, which is good and progressive. But at the same time the merger will give them an enormously strong position from a trading point of view."

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff