Northcliffe to pay £1m for predatory pricing activities

Northcliffe Newspapers will have to pay a £1m fine following a tribunal ruling that one its companies, Aberdeen Journals, engaged in predatory pricing.

The Office of Fair Trading ruled last September that the paper, which dominated the local advertising market, deliberately incurred short-term losses in order to threaten rival newspaper the Aberdeen & District Independent.

Nicholas Green QC, representing the Journals, said that the director general had placed improper weight on evidence that could not be properly tested.

However, the competition appeal tribunal found there was “strong and compelling evidence” that predatory pricing took place and upheld the original ruling, although it reduced the fine from £1.328m to £1m.

Northcliffe Newspapers is owned by the Daily Mail & General Trust.

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