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Global Radio offers to sell Real XS and Gold to appease Competition Commission


By Gillian West, Social media manager

March 8, 2013 | 2 min read

Global Radio has responded to the Competition Commission’s provisional findings revealing it is willing to sell off three of its radio stations.

The proposal made by the network ignores highlighted problems in Wales, the North East and Yorkshire, but offers to sell off Real XS in Manchester and Scotland and Gold East Midlands.

The Competition Commission identified seven areas where there would be a “substantial lessening of competition” if Global kept control of all of its stations.

The news that Global is willing to sell off three of its stations suggest it is willing to meet the Competition Commission almost half way.

The news follows Ofcom’s decision to grant Global a format change for Real Radio Scotland and Real Radio Wales should they be allowed to keep the stations, offering more news.

Currently in Manchester, Global owns Xfm and Capital FM, whilst its Hold Separate company Real & Smooth Ltd owns Greater Manchester’s Real XS and regional Smooth and Real Radio offerings. Similarly in Scotland Global owns Capital FM, with Real & Smooth Ltd operating Real XS, and Real Radio Scotland and the regional variation of Smooth Radio. In East Midlands, Global runs Capital FM which is made up from three stations previously known as RAM, Trent and Leicester Sound. Real & Smooth Ltd operate Smooth Radio.

Gold has currently been excluded from the list of possible divestitures as currently the group does not consider it to be an effective divestiture in any local area, either on its own or combined with others, in light of its low share of listeners and advertising revenue. The fact that is also broadcasts on AM does not overlap with other areas.

Radio Today reports that the group has said it “looks forward to further dialogue with the CC in order to demonstrate the strength of these arguments and working to achieve the appropriate outcome.”

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