LONDON ? Retailers have reiterated their call for action to shake up the monopoly supply of newspapers and magazines.
The Competition Appeals Tribunal heard a case brought by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents against the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) decision not to undertake any further review of the industry.�??
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: "The OFT failed retailers and consumers when it decided to not prioritize a review of the anti-competitive practices in the news and magazine market. They are sanctioning a market that is run by and for the vested interests of publishers and wholesalers and against the interests of consumers.
"In 2009 the OFT concluded that there were serious failures in the way the market operated. Two years on the problem they identified remain and have become more entrenched, it is for this reason that we brought this case forward and we are confident of a successful outcome."??The Competition Appeal Tribunal is likely to announce its verdict later this year.
ACS called for the OFT to intervene or break up the newspaper and magazine supply monopoly. Publishers and wholesalers are granted special treatment under competition law for their supply of product to retailers, who often do not have enough stock of leading magazine titles, yet are flooded with copies of magazines that don?t sell. Retailers do not have a choice over where they get their supplies, suffer from unjustified increases in delivery costs and are stuck with low profit margins on magazine sales.