CCPC approves Kantar Media move to buy Newsaccess
Competition authorities yesterday gave the green light to the controversial union of WPP-owned Kantar Media with local media monitoring player Newsaccess, but imposed swingeing restrictions on the buyer.
The conditions include the forced sale of computer hardware to a rival, commitments on pricing and a year-long prohibition on any canvassing or soliciting of clients that terminate their contract with the enlarged entity.
Sources say the measures, aimed at easing the path for a rival, may entice the likes of the San Francisco-headquartered, Meltwater - which has a small presence in the Irish market - to fill the void. A number of Northern Ireland firms are thought to be considering expanding south of the Border.
Kantar and Newsaccess are the two dominant providers of media monitoring for the print and broadcasting industry.
In its determination on the deal, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said that in light of these conditions, Kantar's acquisition of Newsaccess would not "substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State".
The professional body for Irish communications and PR practitioners, the PRII, took issue with the deal earlier this year, firing off a submission including a raft of concerns about the deal.
In the wake of the CCPC's ruling, the organisation said it welcomed the "significant concessions obtained", but pressed the need for greater competition in the space.