Capital Radio and GWR have confirmed rumours that they are planning a merger that would create the UK's largest radio broadcaster [WAMN: 20-Jul-04].

An alliance of the British commercial giants is made possible by the introduction of the government's Communications Act of 2003, which relaxes ownership laws enabling unions and acquisitions by media giants such as America's Clear Channel Communications.

Capital has recently been battling with rival Chrysalis Group for the coveted position of London's most popular radio station and to attract the highest advertising rates.

It already boasts ownership of Capital FM, Capital Gold and several regional stations, claiming to broadcast to over half of the UK population, and has expressed interest in making further acquisitions.

A merger with GWR, owner of Classic FM and 33 local stations, would create a group worth around £710 million ($1.27bn; €1.04bn).

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff