CMA Accepts Media Contact Databases Merger Remedy

The CMA has decided to accept GTCR’s proposal to sell the media contact databases business of PR Newswire to resolve its merger concerns.

Following its phase 1 investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the acquisition by GTCR of PR Newswire gave rise to competition concerns regarding the supply of media contact databases in the UK. The supply of media contact databases consists of providing a list of media influencers (journalists, bloggers, etc) to private and public organisations to help them search for and contact those most relevant to their needs.

GTCR supplies media contact databases in the UK through its Gorkana subsidiary, while PR Newswire supplies the same product through its Agility subsidiary.

To resolve the competition concerns, GTCR has offered to divest the Agility business to Innodata, a global digital services and solutions company active in content services, data analytics and media intelligence. In the UK, Innodata currently primarily provides content services but it has expertise in media contact databases in other geographic markets, including in North America.

The CMA has co-operated closely during this investigation with the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The DoJ also found competition concerns and the divestment of Agility to Innodata forms part of a proposed settlement to resolve the DoJ’s concerns.

Before accepting the undertakings, the CMA carefully assessed and consulted publicly on the proposed undertakings, including on the suitability of Innodata as a purchaser. No concerns were raised during the consultation.

The CMA has now accepted that GTCR’s offer to divest the Agility business to Innodata will resolve these competition concerns.

Sheldon Mills, CMA Senior Director of Mergers and decision-maker in this case, said:

GTCR’s acquisition of PR Newswire would reduce the number of suppliers of full service media contact databases in the UK from 3 to 2. However, selling Agility to Innodata will restore competition in the UK with the entry of a proven global player.”

The CMA has worked closely with the US Department of Justice in this matter leading to a co-ordinated outcome with a single divestment remedy which will resolve competition concerns in both jurisdictions.

Author: Dylan Jones

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