Documents made public by the Competition Commission confirm both Bauer Media and Orion Media tabled bids for GMG Radio before it was sold to Global Radio.
After the takeover in June, Bauer Media was most vocal about the deal, with Chief Executive Paul Keenan telling RadioToday he was very concerned about the situation.
“The outcome would be less choice for listeners – we are concerned for the short and long term implications this deal could bring. Ofcom should be looking at more than just news provision,” Paul said.
Bauer talked to major advertising groups, MPs and clients, encouraging them and the rest of the radio industry to respond to the consultations.
The “Summaries of hearings held with third parties” documents also show UTV Media did not make a formal bid for the group, as speculated at the time, but would have been interested in some of the GMG assets if Global had not purchased them.
In a hearing with between the CC and Bauer Radio on 22 November 2012, Bauer confirmed they had been interested in buying GMG because it was viewed as having “attractive assets, a significant market share and [this part was confidential].
In a separate meeting, Orion confirmed they had made a bid for the assets of between [confidential] based on standard operating profits and discounted cash flow.
Town and County Broadcasting were also interviewed by the Commission. They said their main concern with the merger was that advertising yield would decrease over time, because it thought Global would have the ability to drive prices downwards in the local marketplace if it desired to do so.
The Wales-based group said it had seen no joint Global GMG activity in the commercial marketplace since the merger but had seen a lot of Real Radio’s output change.
Provision findings on the takeover were released last week, and the Competition Commission would like to hear views on them by 5pm on 6 March 2013.