Ofcom plurality report rules out market share cap

Powerful media companies should be subject to periodic plurality reviews, according to a report published by broadcasting regulator Ofcom which has rejected the idea of a limit to market share.

Ofcom plurality report rules out market share cap
Ofcom plurality report rules out market share cap

At the moment the issue of media plurality can only be looked at where there is a merger of two companies but in its report published today Ofcom suggests there should be a review every four or five years.

Ofcom advised against putting a limit on media market share, as suggested by Labour leader Ed Miliband and newspaper group Daily Mail & General Trust. Ofcom said although a limit  would be "simple to understand" it would also be "inflexible".

Instead, the regulator recommended, in the interests of flexibility, plurality concerns brought about by high market share should be addressed through a periodic plurality review.

Ofcom said relevant measures of plurality were availability, consumption and impact of news media and chief among these were consumption measures such as volume, reach and how consumers multi-source news.

The BBC should be included in any review, Ofcom said, because of its leading position in TV, radio and online news but the BBC’s position should not trigger a review in itself.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked Ofcom to consider how it should measure media plurality in October 2011 following News Corporation’s aborted bid for BSkyB and the escalation of the phone hacking crisis.

During the regulatory process around the Sky bid, Ofcom reviewed the public interest implications of the bid and found that a combination of Sky’s TV assets and News Corporation’s newspapers did raise concerns.

The question of whether to retain the current law preventing media owners from owning more than 20% of national newspaper circulation and a 20% or greater share in a Channel 3 television licence or licensee is a matter for Parliament, Ofcom said.

The BBC should be included in any review, Ofcom said, because of its leading position in TV, radio and online news but the BBC’s position should not trigger a review in itself.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Trading Places: this week's people moves

Trading Places: this week's people moves

Gerard Crichlow is appointed to a newly created social media role at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and marketer Nick Robinson leaves Coca-Cola for AB InBev, in this week's round-up of people moves in advertising, marketing and media.

Share
Rajar Q3 2014: Heart London breakfast crashes into sixth place

Rajar Q3 2014: Heart London breakfast crashes into sixth place

London's commercial radio stations have taken a pummelling to their weekly audience figures, with the big four all shedding listeners year on year and Heart's breakfast show sliding to sixth place.

Share
Rajar Q3 2014: commercial radio tightens the gap on the BBC

Rajar Q3 2014: commercial radio tightens the gap on the BBC

Commercial radio tightened the gap between it and the BBC, according to the latest Rajar audience figures.

Share

Get news by email