Mail's plea over imposed conditions

 The Daily Mail and General Trust is asking for the conditions imposed by the Government when it bought T Bailey Forman, publisher of the Nottingham Evening Post, in 1994 to be revoked.

Conditions imposed after a Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry included a requirement that an editorial board responsible for maintaining editorial independence was set up at the Evening Post.

There were also requirements that DMGT did not re-enter the market for weekly paid-for newspapers in the East Midlands area; did not behave in a way that distorted or restricted competition in the newspaper market in the area; and did not launch a regional edition of the Daily Mail in the East Midlands.

DMGT has asked Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt to revoke the conditions on the grounds that changes to the structure and regulation of the newspaper industry now render them superfluous.

The sale of T Bailey Forman was the first big takeover in the regional press in the Nineties.

Since then consolidation of local newspaper companies has raced ahead and seen the takeover of Thomson Regional Newspapers, once the biggest regional group in the UK, as well as many small family owned groups.

lAnyone wishing to comment on the request should write by 7 September to: Competition Policy Directorate, 1A Department of Trade and Industry, Room 634, 1 Victoria Street, London sw1h 0et.

By Jon Slattery

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