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10/08/2010

Ofcom To Review Local Media Ownership

The independent regulator and authority for the UK communications industries has been approached to consider relaxing regional media ownership rules.
Ofcom have suggested liberalising rules so the only restriction would prevent one body from owning a local radio station, local newspapers with more than a 50% market share and the ITV area licence.
Approaching Ofcom, Jeremy Hunt, the Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Secretary has requested removing that as well.
However Ofcom said that local media was facing "significant economic pressure" and removing the remaining restriction "could allow local media greater options to consolidate to respond to these pressures".
It added that combined ownership could give too much control over local news to one company or person.
Ofcom concluded: "it is also worth noting that there is probably a reasonably low risk of the kind of consolidation that the remaining rule protects against actually occurring even if the rule was removed."
(BMcN/BMcC)
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