Decision Nº M/04/005 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-02-20

JurisdictionIreland
PartiesPress Holdings International,Hollinger
Date20 February 2004
Decision Date20 February 2004
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision NumberM/04/005
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/04/005 of the Competition Authority, dated 20th February,
under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002
Notification No. M/04/005 – Press Holdings International Limited proposed
acquisition of Hollinger Inc.
Introduction
1. On 23rd January the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18 (1) of
the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was jointly notified, on a mandatory basis,
of a proposal whereby Press Holdings International Limited (“PHI”), a newly
incorporated company, via a new subsidiary company Press Acquisition (“PA”),
would acquire sole control of Hollinger Inc. (“HInc.”) by acquiring all the issued
shares of HInc. 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 Parties1
2. PHI is a newly incorporated Jersey company, which recently incorporated a
Canadian subsidiary, PA, for the purpose of making this acquisition. Sir David
Barclay and Sir Fredrick Barclay are the ultimate controllers of PHI. Sir David
Barclay and Sir Fredrick Barclay also control, inter alia, the following business
interests:
a) The parent holding company of The Scotsman Publications Limited
(“SPL”), a Scottish newspaper whose main titles are The Scotsman,
Scotland on Sunday and The Edinburgh Evening News. The parties
submitted that SPL does not have offices on the island of Ireland. It has
four subscribers in the State to whom copies of Scotland on Sunday are
sent direct from Scotland by post, and three subscribers receive The
Scotsman during the week. The parties submitted that revenue arising out
of these subscriptions is minimal due to the few number of subscribers.
SPL’s advertising revenue for 2003 from the State was Sterling £[]
from Irish agencies and clients, and Sterling £[] via advertising
agencies based in Edinburgh on behalf of Irish clients primarily in the
tourism and travel sector.
The Edinburgh Evening News and its other titles have no circulation in the
State; and
b) The Business Publishing Limited (“BPL”) publishes The Business, a
Sunday weekly financial newspaper. The parties submitted that BPL does
not have offices on the island of Ireland. Prior to 2004, it did not actively
distribute its title in Ireland. However, in January 2004, it reached an
agreement for a number of copies of its title to be distributed for free with
Ireland on Sunday. Associated Newspapers Limited, a UK company, also
1 Information describing the parties is obtained from the notification.
1

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