How attitudes change over the years, I recently stumbled across this document published by the Competition Commission, basically it is a small snippet from an report concerning the aquistion by Trinity Mirror of a regional newspaper group MIN (Midlands Independent Newspapers) and I suppose, is really ancient history in media terms, dating back as it does to 1997.
Currently as I understand it, the Office of Fair Trade, are consdiering evidence and comments from interested parties as to the likely effect of Kent Messenger Group's takeover (click here for postings on this subject) and back in the nineties, things were different in the media, the internet was just becoming mainstream and Bignews Margate was still nine years away.
Now here are some of the comments which whilst addressing a different scale of newspaper acquisition (national publisher buying a smaller regional player|) it still has a relevance in the context of Kent Messenger Group taking over Northcliffe Newspapers Group's Kent arising from imput by Kent Messenger Newspapers " acquisition of smaller newspaper groups by larger newspaper groups was no longer in the public interest" now KM Group are not in the same league as Northcliffe Media but they have a bigger slice of the market with their radio stations and newspapers.
Although Kent Messenger was refering to large corporations acquiring smaller newspaper groups I think this is also think this excerpt from that report are relevant to the current situation "corporations which had their own monopolistic reasons for paying a high price, perhaps even over-paying.6.9. KMGN argued that, wherever a local or regional newspaper was acquired in this way, the public lost:
I hope that the OFT take great care in reaching a conclusion as to the benefit of newspapers in Kent being owned by one company which has so far not in my opinion managed to produce a quality newspaper product in East Kent such as the Gazette in Thanet, prime example the KM Extra.