OFT draft opinion on newspaper and magazine distribution

The OFT has published for consultation a draft advisory opinion (28 pages, PDF) intended to help the industry assess whether certain types of distribution arrangement are likely to be compatible with Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998. The agreements in question enable a system for the distribution of magazines and newspapers in which wholesaler-distributors are allocated exclusive territories for distribution of copies to retailers. Taking account of periodic competition between distributors for the appointment to a particular exclusive territory, the OFT identifies consumer benefits from these agreements (e.g. savings realised through economies of scale). It considers that the newspaper agreements are likely to meet the Section 9(1) conditions (which mirrors Article 81(3)), but that the magazine agreements are not indispensable for achieving these benefits and are not likely to qualify for exemption.

Filed under Media, OFT.

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