The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published a discussion paper into the local and regional media merger regime (Media Paper) for consultation. The Media Paper summarises how the media merger regime operates and highlights a number of issues identified by the Government and industry. These issues include: (i) competition assessment and market definition; (ii) guidance on the merger control regime and the OFT's informal advice procedure; and (iii) media "public interest" considerations. The OFT acknowledged the difficulties currently experienced by local and regional media, such as the reduction in circulation and advertising revenues. The Media Paper is part of an exploratory review which the Government invited the OFT to carry out following the publication of the recent "Digital Britain" interim report. The OFT's consultation period lasts until 31 March 2009.