NS: not enough OFT analysis of deregulation

By Sarah Lagan

The Newspaper Society has spoken out against the OFT’s guidance supporting the deregulation of magazine distribution.

The society said in a letter to the OFT that there had not been
adequate legal analysis into the detrimental effect the changes might
have on consumers.

The OFT said that newspaper wholesalers could
continue their exclusive distribution arrangements – which guarantees
all newsagents can receive a full range of titles – but said the
present system of “exclusive territories” for magazine wholesalers
should be opened to allow wholesalers to respond to unsolicited
requests for supplies from outside their territories.

The NS
argues that changes to the present arrangements could also affect
newspaper distribution if wholesalers found it uneconomic to supply
newspapers alone, leading to the threat of higher costs or even closure
for many small independent newsagents – particularly in rural areas.

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