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Most democracies value plurality in the media. Consequently, they employ regulation to prevent individuals or corporations gaining monopolistic proprietorial control in the various media sectors of press and broadcasting, which might militate against free competition. In the UK, Ofcom, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission have statutory roles in the regulation of media competition.

In the UK, a regulatory regime to oversee newspaper mergers was introduced in 1965, following the Report of the Royal Commission of the Press (1962) and subsequently a law was enacted with detailed rules to regulate broadcast and cross-media mergers (Department of Trade and Industry, 2004: 9). But ownership of national and regional newspapers (as well as broadcast media) in the ...

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