Culture Secretary ‘Minded To’ Intervene In Newsquest Acquisition Of Archant

The Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said that she is “minded to” intervene in the acquisition by Newsquest of Archant, DCMS has announced

DCMS said it had written to Newsquest and Archant to inform them of the decision which the Culture Secretary said related to concerns that “there may be public interest considerations” and that these concerns “warrant further investigation.”

Ms Dorries added: “It is important to note that I have not taken a final decision on intervention at this stage. In line with the statutory guidance on media mergers, the ‘minded to’ letter invites further representations in writing from the parties and gives them until 29 April to respond.

“I will then make my final decision, which needs to be made on a quasi-judicial basis, on whether to issue an intervention notice.”

If an intervention notice were issued, the next stage would be for Ofcom to assess and report to the Secretary of State on the public interest concerns and for the Competition and Markets Authority to assess and report on whether a relevant merger situation has been created, and any impact this may have on competition.

Following these reports, the Culture Secretary would decide whether to refer the matter for a more detailed investigation by the CMA.