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OFT could investigate Local World joint venture

The Office of Fair Trading could launch an investigation into the new regional newspaper local venture Local World.

The company was formed last year when it acquired the Daily Mail & General Trust’s Northcliffe Media, and the regional newspaper publisher Iliffe News & Media.

Trinity Mirror acquired a 20 per cent stake in the company for £14.2m.

Today the OFT issued this statement on its website:

The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether this agreement has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

The OFT was heavily criticised after its controversial decision to block KM Group’s bid to buy seven newspapers from Northcliffe Media in 2011.

Ofcom warned the organisation that the decision could force both companies to close titles, which they subsequently did.

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