Global chairman hits out at UK media rules

By | Published on Monday 17 September 2012

Global Radio

Charlie Allen, still Chairman of Global Radio, has hit out at media rules in the UK which means that his radio company is having to face a competition investigation to get the OK for its bid to buy the radio stations owned by GMG Radio.

As previously reported, Global’s competitors are calling on regulators to block the purchase of fourteen radio licences previously owned by the Guardian Media Group and currently used for the Real and Smooth Radio networks.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Allen said that UK media ownership rules were out of date, adding that: “Why do you need to go through all this compliance and plurality for 12 small radio stations? Rather than letting companies get on and grow, we have this level of regulatory involvement for such a small deal”.

In terms of the UK radio industry, twelve licences, some of which are sizable ‘regional licences’, is actually quite a big deal, particularly in areas like London, Manchester and Central Scotland where Global already has a sizable presence. Though Allen and Global CEO Ashley Tabor will argue that in the context of the wider British media industry, the acquisition isn’t significant.

Initial decisions on the deal from both media regulator OfCom and the Office Of Fair Trading are expected later this month, though a final ruling could take sometime longer.