Trinity Mirror / Northern & Shell Media Group merger inquiry

The CMA is investigating the completed acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc of certain assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited.

Statutory timetable

Phase 1 Date Action
20 June 2018 Secretary of State and CMA decisions published
31 May 2018 Deadline for CMA to submit report to Secretary of State
2 May – 8 May 2018 Invitation to comment (Ofcom – public interest assessment)
1 May 2018 Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued a public interest intervention notice
11 April – 25 April 2018 Invitation to comment (CMA - competition assessment)
10 April 2018 Launch of merger inquiry
1 March 2018 Initial enforcement order

Phase 1

CMA clearance decision

20 June 2018: The CMA has cleared the completed acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc of certain assets of Northern & Shell Media Group.

Extension of CMA deadline

20 June 2018: The CMA has extended its 40 working day deadline by notice of extension under section 34ZB(4).

Secretary of State announcement

20 June 2018: The Secretary of State has announced his decision not to refer the Merger to a Phase 2 investigation on the ground that no public interest consideration to which he is able to have regard is relevant to a consideration of the Merger. The Secretary of State has, therefore, required the CMA to deal with the Merger as an ordinary merger case under section 56(1). As part of this decision, the CMA’s report has been published.

CMA reports to the Secretary of State

31 May 2018: The CMA has delivered its report on jurisdictional and competition matters to the Secretary of State.

Ofcom Invitation to comment

2 May 2018: Ofcom is investigating whether the acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc of certain publishing assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited could raise public interest concerns in relation to the need for free expression of opinion in newspapers; and the need for, to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable, a sufficient plurality of views in newspapers in each market for newspapers in the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom. Further information can be found on the Ofcom website, including their guidance note and their invitation to comment.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport public interest intervention notice

1 May 2018: The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued a public interest intervention notice (PIIN) on the public interest grounds of free expression of opinion in newspapers and sufficient plurality of views in newspapers in accordance with sections 42(2) and 58(1) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) in relation to the completed acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc of certain assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited. This means that the Secretary of State will make the decision on whether this transaction operates, or may be expected to operate, against the public interest and should be referred to a phase 2 assessment, taking into account both competition and public interest issues.

The Secretary of State has required the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Ofcom to investigate and report in accordance with section 44 and 44A of the Enterprise Act 2002 by 31 May 2018.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will report on jurisdictional and competition matters. Further information on the CMA’s role is described in Mergers: Guidance on the CMA’s jurisdiction and Procedure (CMA2).

Ofcom will report on the public interest considerations set out in the PIIN.

Invitation to comment: closed on 25 April 2018

11 April 2018: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

Notification of merger enquiry to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

11 April 2018: The CMA brought the acquisition of Trinity Mirror plc of certain assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited to the attention of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport under section 57(1) of the Act, as the CMA considered that the transaction may raise public interest considerations under section 58 of the Act.

Launch of merger enquiry

10 April 2018: The CMA announced the launch of its merger inquiry by notice to the parties.

Initial enforcement order

1 March 2018: The CMA has served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Trinity Mirror plc in relation to the completed acquisition of certain assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited.

Amendments/consents granted:

Contact

Please send written representations to:

Competition

Faye Fullalove
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London
WC1B 4AD

Faye.Fullalove@cma.gsi.gov.uk

Public Interest

Rebecca Taylor
Ofcom
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London
SE1 9HA

PublicInterestTest2018@ofcom.org.uk

Published 2 March 2018
Last updated 20 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Clearance decision, notice of extension and link to the CMA Report to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published.
  2. Report sent to Secretary of State.
  3. OFCOM invitation to comment information added. Statutory timetable updated.
  4. Statutory timetable updated.
  5. Derogation published.
  6. Launch of merger inquiry, Notification to DCMS and invitation to comment published.
  7. Derogations published.
  8. Variation Order, Derogation and HSM Directions published
  9. First published.