Competition body calls for submissions on SMG bid
LONDON - The Competition Commission has asked for industry comment on USA Today publisher Gannett's proposed acquisition bid for Scottish Media Group's newspaper business, which includes the Glasgow-based Herald.
Gannett is hoping to buy the Glasgow papers in a £215m deal. However, it must be given the approval of the Competition Commission, after the competition minister Melanie Johnson referred the deal.
Industry figures have until January 8 next year to submit any concerns that the deal would not be in the public interest.
Gannett won the battle for SMG's newspaper business, which also includes the Sunday Herald and Evening Times, with a £215m offer. The company outbid Sir Anthony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media, which was the only other bidder left in the race.
Gannett, which owns USA Today, is hoping to add the titles to its growing UK newspaper operation Newsquest, which comprises 300 weeklies and 15 regional dailies such as The Oxford Mail and The Argus in Brighton.
Earlier this year, the Competition Commission scuppered a deal that would have seen Johnston Press buy Trinity Mirror's local newspaper titles, after it banned the sale of four of the eight titles in question, saying it would give Johnston a monopoly in certain regions.
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