United and Carlton call off merger

Carlton Communications and United News & Media have cancelled their proposed merger.

But one of the Competition Commission's stipulations for the merger to go ahead was that United must sell its prized Meridian ITV franchise in the south of England. This condition, United and Carlton said in a statement, "undermined the merger's rationale and significantly reduces benefits to shareholders".

Initially, after winning approval for the merger, United chairman Lord Hollick released a statement implying that United would be prepared to sell Meridian. The failure of the merger now leaves the way open for rival Granada to seek a merger deal with either United or Carlton.

As the government has also ruled that a merged company may only own one London licence, a merger between Carlton and Granada seems unlikely as they both own London franchises.


Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).