§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he proposes to refer the current arrangements for the distribution of newspapers, together with the recently introduced reduction of terms to retailers, to the Director of Fair Trading and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Redwood
The Office of Fair Trading is currently looking at various aspects of newspaper wholesaling, including distribution arrangements, carriage charges and the reduction in terms to retailers recently introduced for certain national newspapers. The director general will decide in the light of these inquiries whether further action 385W under the competition legislation is warranted. It would not be appropriate for me to speculate what the outcome of these inquiries will be.