Future-Highbury deal shelved

Future publishing’s planned buyout of rival firm Highbury House has
fallen through after the deal was questioned by the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT).
 
The £100m acquisition, announced two months ago, would have made Future
the third biggest publisher in the UK, with control of 95 per cent of
the UK games magazine market.
 
Future announced it was shelving the deal this morning (15 April), the
day after the OFT said it would refer the acquisition to industry
watchdog the Competition Commission, which could have tied the buyout
up for as long as six months.
 
Bath-based Future is understood to be shocked by the OFT’s decision,
but is expected to continue with its major programme of expansion.
 
The company said today that “it would not be in the interests of Future
plc’s shareholders to pursue further a possible acquisition”.
 
Future is currently the market leader in terms of consumer computer
game magazines, with XBox Magazine, Playstation World and Games Master
in its portfolio.
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