Tenders invited for new London free paper

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has invited bids for a new
free newspaper to be distributed on the London train and tube stations.
The move suggests he is confident he can break the ten-year
contract between Associated Newspapers and London Transport to
exclusively distribute Metro.
 
Livingstone is to place a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest.
 
He said: ‘For the past six years Associated
Newspapers have distributed the Metro in the morning. It’s a matter of
public record that other newspaper businesses would be willing to
distribute a free afternoon paper and might even pay more than we are
getting for the Metro deal.
 
‘All newspaper groups will now have a formal
opportunity to let us know that they are interested. Any additional
money from a new deal would be invested in further improvements to the
Tube.”
 
The move pre-empts a long-running Office of Fair Trading inquiry into Associated Newspaper’s exclusive distribution deal.
 
Richard Desmond has been threatening to launch a
free London newspaper for two years. In May 2003 he lodged a complaint
with the OFT, saying Associated Newspapers’ distribution deal for Metro
created an unfair monopoly.
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