Ofcom Recommends Looser Ownership Rules
November 18, 2009 at 4:19 AM (PT)
U.K. radio regulator OFCOM is recommending the relaxation of local cross-ownership rules to allow more common newspaper-radio-TV ownership and no restrictions on owning all commercial radio stations in a given area. The proposal would bar only owning all three of more than 50% of a market's newspapers, a radio station, and the ITV license. In addition, the agency has proposed relaxing rules on ownership of multiple local and national digital radio multiplexes.
The agency, however, said that national cross-ownership limits should be retained, as well as the public interest test allowing government challenges to mergers, restrictions against undue influence, and ITV's appointed news provider rule.
The recommendations in a report to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport are similar to those proposed by the agency and put out for comment in JULY.