Competition Commission won’t rule on Global’s Smooth Real deal until May

By | Published on Friday 22 February 2013

Real & Smooth Limited

The Competition Commission is now not likely to rule on Global Radio’s takeover of the former GMG Radio company until 22 May, nearly two months later than previously planned.

As previously reported, the Commission recently set out various concerns about Global’s acquisition of the Smooth and Real Radio networks, previously owned by The Guardian’s radio company. A prelim report said the takeover posed competition concerns in the local advertising markets in various regions.

The Commission now says its investigation into Global’s latest expansion is “complex” and that it needs “sufficient time” to consider all the issues.

The delay will be a blow for Global which wanted as speedy a competition investigation as possible, and which is having to run Smooth and Real as a standalone entity while awaiting regulator approval. Though the longer timeframe possibly shows that the Commission believes there is a deal to be done to counter competition concerns, even if it will take a few months to negotiate.

In the meantime staff at the interim Smooth/Real company face more months of uncertainty, amidst speculation that Global may downsize the two networks, or merge them with its existing networks, if and when the merger is approved.

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