Newsquest gives Freeserve free ad space worth pounds 10m

Newsquest is to pay for most of its stake in Freeserve’s online auctions service by providing free advertising in the group’s newspapers.

Newsquest is to pay for most of its stake in Freeserve’s online

auctions service by providing free advertising in the group’s

newspapers.



The 9.9 per cent strategic investment in Freeserve Auctions, which

launched last November, is being taken by Newsquest in exchange for free

advertising over three years, valued at pounds 10 million, plus pounds 2

million cash.



Classified listings for the service’s person-to-person and

merchant-to-person auctions will be included in Newsquest’s 186 regional

titles. It will also incorporate Freeserve Auctions into its regional

newspaper websites, replacing its own Auction Hunter branded

services.



The remaining shares in Freeserve Auctions will be held by Freeserve (72

per cent) and by Auctions.com (18 per cent).



Newsquest’s executive chairman Jim Brown said: ’This is a very important

development. This opportunity to link with Freeserve is a huge leap

forward.’



Newsquest has developed around 20 local information sites on the

internet through the This Is brand.



Separately, the Competition Commission has written to Newsquest

regarding its proposed bid for Newscom.



The commission has asked for a statement on how the proposed merger

would be managed and financed, whether it would involve the closure of

titles and the ramifications of ownership concentration. The commission

is expected to make its ruling in mid-March.



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