Industry cautious of TDI monopoly after Buspak deal

TDI Advertising’s acquisition of Buspak this week has led to concerns about monopolistic practices in the bus advertising marketplace.

TDI Advertising’s acquisition of Buspak this week has led to

concerns about monopolistic practices in the bus advertising

marketplace.



TDI, which acquired Buspak for an undisclosed sum, now controls 100 per

cent of the bus market and some fear that in time it may use its

position to impose conditional selling as well as hiking up rates.



One source said: ’It must be tempting for TDI to do that. It can sell

the London fleet ten times over, but at any one time only half the

region is sold. It would be a huge benefit if it could sell London and

the regions and it certainly has the means to do it.’



However, Alan Simmons, chief executive of the outdoor specialist,

Concord, said: ’If TDI maintains the business practice it has adhered to

so far, there is nothing to fear.



To an extent, Buspak was struggling and to have one well-organised and

well-structured contractor must be good for the market.’



Jeremy Male, the managing director of TDI, said: ’I don’t have

monopolistic concerns. According to Advertising Association figures, in

1996 we had between an 11 and 14 per cent share of the outdoor

sector.



’Bus advertising is a very small part of outdoor and we see this deal as

something that will increase competition. A one-stop shop makes it much

easier to buy.’



A spokesman for the Office of Fair Trading said: ’The deal is not done

and dusted; it has to be looked at and we are seeking information from

the parties involved.’



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