Decision Nº M/03/040 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-01-16

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ire)
Decision NumberM/03/040
Decision Date16 January 2004
Submitted Date17 December 2003
PartiesAlpha Newspaper Group,Midland Tribune
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
Date16 January 2004
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/041 of the Competition Authority, dated 16th January
Notification No. M/03/041 – The proposed acquisition by Alpha Publications
Limited of all the issued share capital of Midland Tribune Printing Limited
Introduction
1. On 17th December 2003 date the Competition Authority, in accordance with
Section 18 (1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a
mandatory basis, of a proposal whereby Alpha Publications Limited (APL)
would acquire all the issued share capital of Midland Tribune Printing Limited
(MTPL).
The Parties
2. APL is a private limited company recently incorporated in Ireland and is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Tontine Rooms Holding Company Limited (TRH), which is
incorporated in Northern Ireland. TRH trades under the name of Alpha
Newspaper Group, which is involved in newspaper publishing primarily in
Northern Ireland.
3. MPTL publishes The Midland Tribune and Tullamore Tribune, both of which are
weekly regional newspapers. MPTL also owns the titles “The Harlequin” and
“The Limerick Tribune”, which have not been published for approximately 10
years.
Analysis
4. There is no overlap in the parties’ activities as they operate in different
geographic regions. TRH’s publications are circulated primarily in Northern
Ireland. Its only circulation in the State are approximately [ ] copies of the
Ulster Gazette sold in County Monaghan and the sale of [ ] copies of the
Strabane Weekley News in East Donegal. Advertising revenues derived from
customers in the State are negligible. MPTL’s circulation revenues are derived
solely from readership in Offaly and surrounding counties. Accordingly the
transaction does not give rise to competition concerns.
Determination
The Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 21(2) of the Competition Act,
2002, has determined that, in its opinion, the result of the proposed acquisition will
not be to substantially lessen competition in markets for goods and services in the
State and, accordingly, that the acquisition may be put into effect.
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