Irish Competition Authority looking for work

The Irish Competition Authority “has determined to carry out a full investigation” in relation to the proposed Metro and Herald AM merger.

Three publishers, Irish Times, DMG Ireland (Associated Newspaper, Daily Mail) and Independent Newspapers want to acquire Fortunegreen Limited, the publisher of Metro Ireland (now owned by Irish Times, DMG and Metro International) and merge the paper with Herald AM (Independent Newspapers).

The Competition Authority said it was not able to conclude that the proposed acquisition will not substantially lessen competition without carrying out a full investigation. A final decision has to be reached before November 26. Interested parties are invited to make submissions until 17 September 2009.

However, it looks like a weird move, resulting only in extra work for Competition Authority, because what’s the problem here?

1. you start a new paper – no problem
2. somebody else starts a new paper – no problem
3. you merge the papers – big problem

Less papers than a year ago, but still one more than 5 years ago.

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