Google backs bid to relax media merger rules

Google has backed local newspapers bid to relax media merger rules between UK papers.

Google has backed local newspapers’ bid to relax media merger rules between UK papers.

According to reports, the company has submitted a letter to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) backing mergers between local newspaper firms such as Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press.

The letter, written by Matt Brittin, MD of Google UK, said, “Google supports the position of many newspapers for the need to allow for a 21st century merger regime, allowing local and regional news services to merge and consolidate in order to create… competitive news offerings”.

In February the OFT launched a review of the local and regional media sector following proposals made in January’s Digital Britain interim report.

Matt Brittin (pictured) told new media age earlier this month that Google helps publishers monetise opportunities online.

“We send something like 1bn clicks a month to newspaper and publisher sites through our search products and Google News, and in 2008 we paid $5bn (£3.33bn) to partners on whose websites we serve advertising.”

The Office of Fair Trading refused to comment.

Google was unavailable for comment.

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