Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt has ordered Ofcom to investigate the acquisition deal by Global Radio of GMG Radio, looking at what the merger may mean for media plurality, despite the £70m deal having been completed.
The investigation by Ofcom will see the media regulator asked to discover the issues raised by the merger and the effects it could have on media plurality should the £70m deal go ahead.
The Competition Commission has already received an application from Global Radio to ‘fast-track’ the deal, The Guardian has reported.
Said Hunt; "On the basis of the information available to me, I have decided that under all the circumstances and, in particular the concentration of ownership which will occur in some parts of the UK, the merger may be relevant to the issue of plurality, particularly in those areas."
Both UTV MEDIA and Bauer Radio have stated the opposition to the deal.
UPDATED: A Global spokesperson has said: "Global note, with interest, that the Secretary of State has asked Ofcom and the OFT for submissions on a public interest intervention following the recent acquisition of GMG Radio. We have already submitted a detailed paper articulating our views and opinions on this subject to the relevant authorities."