The OFT Must Act To Save Britain's Newsagents
We the undersigned call on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate immediately contracts in the news and magazine distribution industry, amid widespread concerns about anti-competitive behaviour. We further call on the OFT to refer the news and magazine industry to the Competition Commission for a wider and more detailed examination of market behaviour. Britain's independent newsagents are closing at a rate of more than one a day, putting thousands of jobs at risk across the UK. In October 2008, the OFT highlighted how increased competition in the newspaper and magazine distribution market could benefit consumers, yet in the six months since then, two regional monopolies have emerged, removing almost all competition from the market. With no choice of supplier, this means that newsagents are powerless against price hikes. Without urgent action by the OFT, we fear that our country's newsagents, who play a vital role in our society, could soon be consigned to history.