Decision Nº M/05/025 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2005-08-12

Decision NumberM/05/025
PartiesHighland Radio,SRH
StatusCleared (Phase 2)
1
Determination of the Competition Authority, dated 12th August
2005, under Section 21 of the Competition Act, 2002 in respect of
Merger Notification Case No. M/05/025 - Proposed acquisition by
Scottish Radio Holdings plc. of Donegal Highland Radio Limited.
Introduction
1. On 1
st June 2005, the Competition Authority (“the Authority”), in
accordance with Section 18 (1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the
Act”), was notified on a mandatory basis of a proposal whereby
Scottish Radio Holdings plc (“SRH”) would acquire the entire issued
share capital of Donegal Highland Radio Limited (“Highland Radio”)
thereby acquiring sole control of Highland Radio.
2. The Authority advised the parties and the Minister that it considered
the transaction to be a “media merger”, within the meaning of Section
23 of the Act.
3. On 30 June 2005, the Authority made a formal request for further
information from SRH pursuant to S.20(2) of the Act.
The Parties
4. SRH is a media group whose activities, through its subsidiaries, are
radio broadcasting and newspaper publishing in the United Kingdom
and the State. SRH wholly or partly-owns 24 analogue and digital
radio broadcasting services; six digital radio multiplexes and publishes
45 local weekly newspapers. Of these, two analogue radio stations
(Today FM and FM104) are broadcast in the State and five local/
regional newspapers are published in the State1.
5. Today FM broadcasts nationally pursuant to a licence issued by the
Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (“the BCI”) targeting an audience
demographic of 20-44 year olds.
6. FM 104 broadcasts locally in the Dublin City and County franchise area
pursuant to a licence issued by the BCI targeting an audience
demographic of 15-34 year olds2.
1 On 28 June 2005, the Authority was notified on a mandatory basis of the proposed acquisition by
EMAP plc. of SRH (Merger Notification Case Number M/05/036 Determination available from the
Authority website at http://www.tca.ie) As part of the proposed acquisition, EMAP agreed to sell Score
Press Ltd. (SRH’s Irish press division) to Johnston Press plc. on the clearance of the notified
acquisition by the Authority. The Authority’s determination of 28 July 2005 cleared the notified
transaction. The proposed acquisition by Johnston Press Plc. of Score Press Limited was notified to the
Authority on 29 June 2005 and cleared by the Authority on 29 July 2005 (Merger Notification Case
Number M/05/037 Determination available from the Authority website at http://www.tca.ie).
2 SRH also holds licences for two radio stations in Northern Ireland issued by the Office of
Communications (“OFCOM”) in the United Kingdom. Downtown Radio is a regional radio station
broadcasting across Northern Ireland. Cool FM broadcasts locally in the Belfast region.

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