Decision Nº M/03/020 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-07-15

PartiesARG Equation Limited,March U.K. Limited
Date15 July 2003
Decision Date15 July 2003
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision NumberM/03/020
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/020 of the Competition Authority, dated 15 July 2003,
under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002
Notification No. M/03/020 – Acquisition by March UK Limited of ARG Equation
Limited and a number of related companies.
1. On 18 June 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18 of the
Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis, of a
proposal whereby March U.K. Limited (March) would acquire ARG Equation
Limited and a number of related companies (the UK Home Shopping Business)
of GUS plc. The Authority, in accordance with s 23(1)(b) of the Act, notified the
parties that it considers the transaction to be a media merger.
The Parties
2. March is a UK company ultimately controlled by Sir David Barclay and Sir
Frederick Barclay who also ultimately control Littlewoods Limited (Littlewoods),
a UK non-food retail business with interest in high street stores, catalogue stores,
mail order catalogues and related businesses. Sir David Barclay and Sir
Frederick Barclay also ultimately control the Scotsman Publications Limited, a
Scottish newspaper business and The Business Publishing Limited which
publishes a weekly business newspaper. There are a small amount of sales of
those publications in the State.
3. The UK Home Shopping Business’s activities include home shopping catalogue
services, retail, and related financial services in the UK. It formed part of the
GUS retail group, a UK group with interests in retail, home shopping and
financial services.
4. There is no overlap between the parties’ activities within the State. March has
home shopping activities on the island of Ireland, principally in Northern Ireland.
Any sales into the State are insignificant cross-border sales. The UK Home
Shopping Business does not operate any home shopping activities within the

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