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Government consults on OFT advice to revoke undertakings on newspaper supply


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Released 22 Oct 2008

The Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson, has today received advice from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on the continued appropriateness of statutory undertakings that underpin arrangements for the supply of newspapers in England and Wales.

Having reviewed the undertakings, provided by newspaper wholesalers in 1994, the OFT has concluded these are no longer appropriate and should be revoked. Lord Mandelson has today invited interested parties to make written representations to him on the OFT's advice. He will take these representations into account before making a final decision on the future of the undertakings.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks with representations required by Wednesday 14 January 2009.


1. Following the Monopoly and Mergers Commission's 1993 market investigation into the supply of newspapers in England and Wales, industry parties adopted a code of practice prescribing how newspaper wholesalers must operate in relation to retailers located within their exclusive distribution territories. This Newspaper Code is given legal force through statutory undertakings given to the Secretary of State under the Fair Trading Act 1973 by the 78 wholesalers then operating in the market. The undertakings confer a legal obligation on the relevant wholesalers to comply with the Newspaper Code.

2. The undertakings have been periodically reviewed by the OFT who must advise the Secretary of State whether they remain appropriate or whether they should be varied, superseded or revoked. The OFT's advice to the Secretary of State follows its latest review on the continued appropriateness of the undertakings. The advice can be found on the BERR website at x.html as well as on the OFT's website.

3. Written representations to the Secretary of State about the OFT's advice should be sent to Paul Bannister, Consumer & Competition Policy Directorate at the Department for Business, 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET

About the Author

Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-10-22 13:37:17 in Business Articles

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