Decision Nº M/03/010 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-05-26

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ire)
PartiesThomas Crosbie,Smurfit Communications
Decision NumberM/03/010
Date26 May 2003
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
Decision Date26 May 2003
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/010 of the Competition Authority, dated 26th May 2003,
Notification No. M/03/010 – Acquisition by Thomas Crosbie Holdings Limited of
Smurfit Communications (GB) Limited
Introduction
1. On 30th April 2003 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 Thomas Crosbie Holdings Limited (TCH) would acquire the
entire issued share capital of Smurfit Communications (GB) Limited (SCGB)
from Smurfit Communications UK Limited. 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. TCH is a holding company of those companies which publish the Irish Examiner,
The Evening Echo, The Western People, The Sligo Weekender, The Waterford
News and Star, The Kingdom, The Newry Democrat, The Nationalist and
Leinster Times, The Kildare Nationalist, The Laois Nationalist and the Sunday
Business Post.
3. SCGB is a subsidiary of Smurfit Communications UK Limited, which is part of
the Jefferson Smurfit Group. The Jefferson Smurfit Group manufactures paper
board and packaging products and has operations in Europe, Latin America and
North America. SCGB publishes the Irish Post newspaper, a tabloid paper with
Irish news sold in the main British cities which have a resident Irish community,
Ri-Ra magazine, a free listings publication aimed at the London area and the
Business Yearbook, a directory of Irish businesses in Britain. Associated
companies of the Smurfit Group publish the following Irish magazines which are
not connected with the transaction: Woman’s Way, U, Irish Tatler and Food &
Wine.
Analysis
4. There is negligible overlap between the parties’ activities. TCH publishes
regional and national newspapers, which are circulated almost exclusively in
Ireland. SCGB’s newspaper publication is circulated only in Britain.
Determination
5. 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
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