DCMS gives the OK for recent Bauer purchases

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has given the all-clear to the CMA over Bauer’s purchase of four radio groups.

The Competition and Markets Authority referred the takeover to the DCMS, saying it may raise public interest considerations, but the Director of Media at the DCMS has replied to say it will not intervene in the case.

In a letter sent to Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media Group UK, the DCMS says the Secretary of State reviewed Bauer Media Group’s recent transactions of Celador Radio Broadcasting Ltd, Lincs FM Group Ltd, UKRD and the local radio business of Wireless Media Group but will not take any action.

The CMA’s investigation continues and is currently showing a deadline date of 24th July to announce a decision, although this date may change.

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  1. I says

    Now, don’t blame the larger groups for killing off ILR. It’s Ofcom’s fault: what did they expect after not giving out any national, commercial licenses that every other country has awarded long ago? Just let LOCAL exist alongside NATIONAL, just like in Ireland, and apply restrictions to actual local stations in order to prevent networking (except overnight and for some top 40 chart) and music log sharing, and encourage live, locally-relevant broadcasting. Maybe with licenses covering larger areas.

    And don’t restrict such a large part of the FM spectrum to the Beeb… 88.1-95.7, 97.6(almost everywhere)-99.7, and 103.7 to 104.9. 11.8 on 20.5 MHz on the spectrum mean about 60% of it.

    1. Peter says

      You make a good point about the BBC monopolising 60% of the bandwidth for just 5 of their channels.

      But for how much longer will FM or even DAB be with us.Streaming through Apps or Smart Speakers seems to be the future.

      Alexa play Absolute,Virgin,Smooth or Capital will be the new way.

      1. mb23 says

        It’s actually 70%, one of the national networks has a market share of only 1.4%.

        You’re correct that it isn’t worth moving FM stations at this stage. FM is expected to fall below 40% of total listening within a year.

  2. The observer says

    Even more redundancies then. 🙁

  3. sj says

    I completely agree, Peter. Because of my smart speakers, I already have absolutely no reason to buy a DAB+ radio for my house. The choice of stations (and usually the sound quality) is better online. In-car listening will make DAB convenient for a while, but mobile streaming of music, podcasts and even live stations will surely increase here too. The traditional broadcast platforms will become less and less relevant. This is one reason why, in the long-term, it would have been a nonsense to continue to dictate local content requirements to commercial radio groups.

  4. Lee says

    OFCOM appears to be rotten to the core!

    1. Radio Geordie says

      It inherited pretty much the same bunch of cowboys that ran the Radio Authority, so hardly surprising.

  5. Radio Geordie says

    Seriously? They don’t have to dispose of anything apart from what they already sold?
    Surely they can’t be allowed to keep Switch Digital in Scotland due to Bauer owning both the local and regional platforms – Cartel springs to mind – or did they not buy that bit of the business?
    Also, the Minster, Compass & Yorkshire Coast services overlap more than one of their services like KCFM did, which they immediately sold on. Surely they wouldn’t be allowed to keep them?

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