The Office of Fair Trading has given the green light to the merger of Global Radio and GCap Media. The deal will not be referred to the Competition Commission after the two companies agreed to dispose of several regional stations, including GCap’s flagship Birmingham station, BRMB.
The OFT has ruled that there are no competition issues for the merger in London, which means that 95.8 Capital Radio, Heart, Xfm, Choice, Classic, LBC and Gold will be part of the same group. It has also found no competition issues at a national level and has placed no restriction of Global continuing to handle the national airtime sales for Guardian Media Group Radio.
But the regulator has ruled that is must dispose of Heart 106 in the East Midlands and BRMB, Beacon and Mercia and Wyvern in the West Midlands.
The two groups will remain separate until these remedies have been finalised. Ashley Tabor, chief executive of GCap Media, says: “Today is a momentous day for the UK commercial radio industry, marking the start of a new era for the sector. Global Radio will now be able to lead the industry to the consolidation it needs.
“We will now be able to offer real value and quality to advertisers and listeners by operating the Heart and Capital brands alongside one another and today’s decision represents the beginning of a very exciting radio group.”