Media group must sell Dutch papers

2nd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Move will help competition in newspaper market, according to the NMa.

The Hague – Belgian media group De Persgroep must sell two Dutch newspapers in the PCM Holding publishing stable in which it recently bought a majority stake, the Dutch competition authority said on Wednesday.

The sale of the NRC Handelsblad afternoon business paper and, its morning version, would help protect competition in the newspaper market, competition body NMa said in a statement.

"The majority of national daily newspapers would otherwise have ended up in one basket" it added.

PCM also issues the leftist De Volkskrant and the Christian Trouw newspapers, and owns the Algemeen Dagblad with Dutch competitor Wegener.

De Persgroep, which owns Belgian titles such as Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen, recently bought a 58.4 percent share in PCM for EUR 130 million (about USD 184 million).

It also owns a stake in the Belgian financial dailies De Tijd and L'Echo, and has been present in the Netherlands since purchasing the Amsterdam daily Het Parool in 2003.

AFP / Radio Netherlands

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