The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced on 4 February that it is seeking a divestment undertaking from Dunfermline Press Limited in relation to its acquisition of Trinity Mirror plc. Although the merger is under the £10m threshold, the OFT has decided not to use its discretion in applying the de minimis exception. The OFT, on its own initiative, began an investigation into the merger in November and the parties offered undertakings to hold the acquired assets separately pending the outcome. The OFT has found that the merger may result in a substantial lessening of competition with regard to just one of the newspaper titles and Dunfermline has offered to divest that publication.
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Local newspaper merger falls under OFT scrutiny
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