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Advert prices may rise after radio takeover

GLOBAL Radio's takeover of GMG Radio could push up advertising prices in central Scotland and six other areas of the UK where the two firms' stations overlap, the Competition Commission has concluded.

Global, the operator of stations including Capital FM, Heart and Classic FM, snapped up GMG, the company behind the Real and Smooth brands, in a £70 million deal last year.

Competition Commission deputy chairman Simon Polito said: "The advertisers most likely to lose out from this deal are those who do not use national media agencies, and so includes smaller and medium-sized companies.

"These advertisers rely on the presence of competing commercial stations in order to negotiate a good deal."

The findings may force Global to sell stations in areas where the two firms overlap.

The commission is opening a consultation on its provisional decision, which will run until March 6.

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