The Competition & Markets Authority has ruled that Future’s purchase of TI Media does not raise competition concerns, but on the condition that Future divests itself of three closely competing products.
The competition watchdog has completed its phase-one investigation of the deal, which would create Europe’s largest magazine publisher with revenue of £400m. The probe was announced in January, after it was revealed in October 2019 that Future was acquiring TI Media from its private-equity owner.
The CMA found that Future and TI Media compete closely in tech, photography and football titles.
Future publishes tech titles including TechRadar and T3, photography magazines including Digital Camera World and Digital Photographer, and football title FourFourTwo, which it bought from Campaign publisher Haymarket in 2018.
TI Media publishes WorldSoccer, Amateur Photographer and tech website Trusted Reviews.
Future is in discussions with the CMA about potential remedies and "offered to mitigate these competition issues with a view to agreeing" terms to complete the acquisition.
The acquisition marks Future's first major foray into lifestyle and women’s magazines. The business has historically focused on gaming, technology and hobby titles.
TI Media was formerly known as IPC Media, until US-based Time Inc bought it for $1.6bn in 2001 and rebranded it as Time Inc UK in 2014. Meredith bought Time Inc in 2017 and sold the UK operation to Epiris the following year, reportedly for about £130m. Time Inc was then named TI Media.