Bidding on new London free set to enter final stage

The bidding process for the rights to publish a possible fourth free daily newspaper for London enters its final stage next week.

The newspaper companies that have expressed an interest will  bid electronically for the rights.  The winning bid was due to be announced in mid-July but now looks set to be delayed for a few weeks, according to a Network Rail spokesman.

Network Rail has received tenders from newspaper publishers wishing to distribute a free newspaper at 10 London railway stations it manages.

The tender process stemmed from the same OFT decision which has led Transport for London also to invite bids for a free newspaper to be distributed at its London Underground stations.

According to Network Rail, the winning bidder could be one newspaper distributor at both the London Underground and railway stations or the deal could end up being split between two different publications.

Any new free newspapers in London will compete with the city’s existing two free dailies Metro and business title City AM.

Among those companies expected to bid for the franchise are Associated Newspapers, News International and Express Newspapers.

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