The anticipated acquisition by family-owned media company Kent Messenger Group (KMG) of several newspapers from the Daily Mail and General Trust subsidiary, Northcliffe Media Limited (NML), has been referred by the OFT to the CC.

The OFT concluded that there was a risk of a monopoly in seven areas of East Kent where KMG and NML are the only publishers of local weekly newspapers. The OFT concluded this monopoly could result in higher advertising costs for businesses and higher newspaper prices for consumers.  

A CC decision was expected before 2 April 2012, but the merger has reportedly now been abandoned