Price rises, but papers still 'cheap'

This week's quality newspaper price increases follow claims from The Independent editor Simon Kelner that newspapers were being sold too cheaply.

This week The Sunday Times became the first national newspaper to cost £2 while The Times went up from 60p to 65p on Monday, and The Daily Telegraph rose from 65p to 70p. The Saturday Times also went up from £1.20 to £1.30.

The Sunday Times price rise came with a claim from the publishers that — at 598 pages — it still represented "outstanding value for money".

Speaking last month, Kelner said: "It used to be said that a newspaper should be the price of a cup of coffee.

Today The Independent is 70p and a cup of coffee is £3. I think daily papers should be £1, weekend papers should be at least £2."

The latest price rises come as part of a general upward trend in newspaper prices over the past two years, following the end of the price war between The Times and The Daily Telegraph. In May 1999 the Office of Fair Trading said The Times had damaged its rivals by cutting its cover price.

After a 15-month investigation, officials came to the decision that News International had deliberately made a loss on The Times by charging 10p for the Monday edition between June 1996 and January 1998. In that period The Times's circulation doubled to 700,000 compared to the pre-price cut circulation of 1993.

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