April 23, 2018 / 4:30 PM / a year ago

Britain likely to intervene in Daily Mirror-Express deal

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock arrives in Downing Street in London, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said it was likely to intervene in the Daily Mirror publisher’s deal to buy the Express tabloids and other titles because of the potential impact on editorial decision making and a need for a range of views in newspapers.

Trinity Mirror TNI.L scooped up titles including the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine for 127 million pounds ($177 million) in February in the biggest shake up of Britain’s cut-throat newspaper industry in decades.

Media secretary Matt Hancock said he was “minded to” intervene on two grounds: one concerning the potential impact the transfer of newspapers would have on editorial decision making and the other related to a need for a sufficient plurality of views in newspapers.

Hancock said the merged entity would own the largest share of national titles within the UK newspaper market, owning nine out of 20 national newspaper titles, and become the second largest national newspaper organization in circulation terms, with a 28 percent share of average monthly circulation for 2017 among national titles.

Any decision to intervene would require media regulator Ofcom to assess the public interest considerations and for the CMA to report on jurisdiction, he said on Monday.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Susan Fenton

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