Metro-Herald merged approved

metroireland2009The Irish Competition Authority approved the merger between Dublin free newspapers Herald AM and Metro. The new publication, Metro Herald, is owned by Independent News & Media, Associated Newspapers and the Irish Times.

Both papers were launched October 10, 2005. Metro by Associated Newspapers (who operated Metro in the UK), Metro International, and the Irish Times. Independent News & Media, publisher of the Evening Herald, launched the competing Herald AM. Circulation of both papers was around 70,000 – the new title will have a similar circulation.

Both publishers announced in July 2009 that they wanted to merge their papers. The merger will probably look like a closure of the Herald AM title as INM is acquiring a stake in Metro publisher Fortunegreen Limited. Therefore the new paper will probably be quite similar to the old Metro (and Metro UK).

The Competition Authority approved the merger under two conditions to ensure competition:

  • Fortunegreen will have the incentive and the ability to be an effective independent competitor in the market for display newspaper advertising in the GDA;
  • the proposed transaction will not create a forum that could enhance the ability for coordination between the shareholders and between the shareholders and Fortunegreen.

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