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Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds OFT’s decision not to conduct a further review of the newspaper and magazine distribution industry

24/10/12

Association of Convenience Stores & National Federation of Retail Newsagents v Office of Fair Trading [2012] CAT 27

Convenience stores and retail newsagents challenged the OFT's decision not to conduct a short update review of the newspaper and magazine industry in order to decide whether to make a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission under the Enterprise Act 2002.  The thrust of their challenge was that the OFT's decision was unreasonable given the evidence before it, and inconsistent with its decision three years previously that there were features of the market that were of possible concern.

The Tribunal rejected the challenge, finding that the OFT had reasonably concluded, applying its prioritisation principles, that it was not appropriate to carry out a further review. The evidence before the OFT justified the conclusion that consumers are not suffering detriment, availability of newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom is good, the supply chain is by and large operating effectively, and the new form of industry self regulation by Press Distribution Forum had the potential to resolve any continuing problems.

The judgment is here.

Maya Lester appeared for the Press Distribution Forum, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.