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Arqiva and NGW merger agreed

Rival transmission companies Arqiva and National Grid Wireless have been given the go-ahead to merge following a Competition Commission investigation.

Under the terms of guarantees promised, radio stations will gain the right to extend their current contracts on existing terms and cost.

The merger, which can now officially begin, will result in a single broadcast transmission infrastructure for the UK and, say the enlarged company, will enable the [i]Digital Switch Over project to proceed with maximum efficiency[/i].

Since the announcement of the acquisition last year Arqiva and National Grid Wireless have operated as separate entities, under ‘Hold Separate' requirements, while the Competition Commission inquiry was conducted. These requirements have now ceased to have effect and integration of the two companies can start immediately.

Tom Bennie, CEO of Arqiva, said: "We are delighted that the merger can now proceed. The broadcasting industry has accepted that there are significant benefits for all parties, and competition concerns have been addressed by the Undertakings. The two halves of the UK's broadcast network can now be united, with financial savings for customers and a consolidated approach to Digital Switch Over. The merged company will have world-class expertise and resources."

Undertakings from the investigation agreed that guaranteed price and service benefits to broadcast-transmission customers, and the integration of the two organisations can now begin.

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