Carlton Communications and United News and Media look set to merge,
creating a pounds 7.8 billion multi-media behemoth.
Last Friday the two companies announced their intention to create a UK
media supergroup, which would own the three most powerful TV
franchises - Carlton, Central and Meridian - as well as The Express and
the Daily Star. United also owns Anglia and HTV, while Carlton also owns
Together the groups’ TV interests would give them a 32 per cent share of
ITV advertising revenue. Competition regulations dictate that no single
company can have more than a 25 per cent share of this market, but the
rules are under review. Even if the rules were enforced, the group would
only have to dispose of Anglia and HTV.
Both companies need to grow to compete with overseas media giants and to
inject some life into their flagging share prices.