Global Radio’s response to the Competition Commission’s provisional findings show how the company is prepared to sell three radio stations.
The Commission said it has identified seven areas which, if Global keeps all stations, may lead to a Substantial Lessening of Competition. They are East Midlands, Cardiff, North Wales, Manchester, The North East, South & West Yorkshire and Scotland.
The provisional remedies proposed by Global Radio, should they be required at the conclusion of the process, are to sell Real XS in Manchester & Scotland & Gold East Midlands.
This proposal ignores the highlighted problems in Wales, the North East and Yorkshire, but shows Global Radio is willing to meet the Competition Commission almost half way.
“Global Radio believes that there is irrefutable evidence that this acquisition will not lead to a Substantial Lessening of Competition (SLC) in any of the regions identified by the CC, and moreover that there are significant benefits to advertisers and listeners which will result from the acquisition,” the company said today.
Global Radio has arranged for a Format change for Real Radio Scotland and Real Radio Wales should they be allowed to keep the stations, offering more news. A move they say will benefit listeners.
“Global Radio has made a significant commitment to providing listeners in Scotland and Wales with brand new additional news programming in Scotland and Wales, the like of which is unique within commercial radio.
“Advertisers will benefit from the acquisition through the ease of trading and accompanying pricing achievable through trading with an enlarged Global Radio.”
In Manchester, Global Radio owns Greater Manchester stations Xfm and Capital FM, whilst its Hold Separate company Real & Smooth Ltd owns Greater Manchester’s Real XS and regional stations Smooth Radio and Real Radio based in Manchester.
In Scotland, Global Radio owns regional station Capital FM. Whilst Real & Smooth Ltd operates Paisley station Real XS, Glasgow station Smooth Radio and regional station Real Radio.
In the East Midlands, Global Radio owns Capital FM, made up of three stations previously known as RAM, Trent and Leicester Sound. Real & Smooth Ltd operates Smooth Radio.
The Competition Commission has said that Gold been excluded from the list of possible divestitures as currently the Group does not consider it likely to be an effective divestiture in any local area either on its own or in combination with other divestitures, in light of its relatively low share of listeners and low share of advertising revenue, the fact that it is only broadcast on AM within the overlap areas and that it is a Global station, rather than part of the acquired business.
“Global Radio look forward to further dialogue with the CC in order to demonstrate the strength of these arguments and working to achieve the appropriate outcome,” the group said.
The Competition Commission’s final report is due on or by 22nd May 2013.