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39/12 17 May 2012
Clear Channel and JCDecaux, two of the major outdoor advertising companies, have agreed to make changes to the way they enforce contracts with Local Authorities for advertising on bus shelters and information panels.
The voluntary assurances mean that potential competitors will now be in a stronger position to compete for contracts coming up for tender and will have a greater opportunity to enter alongside existing contracts, particularly where they are proposing new forms of street furniture advertising.
The OFT opened a competition investigation into street furniture advertising contracts held by the two companies following its 2011 market study into outdoor advertising. As a result of the assurances it has received, the OFT has now closed its investigation. It has made no finding of any infringement of the Competition Act 1998 and none should be assumed from the offering of these assurances.
Both companies have now offered voluntary assurances. Among other things, the parties have agreed:
The OFT has today also published recommendations to Local Authorities on the way they award street furniture contracts, to help encourage stronger competition.
Ali Nikpay, Senior Director at the OFT, said:
'We are pleased that Clear Channel and JCDecaux have offered to give these voluntary assurances in relation to their street furniture contracts with Local Authorities.
'We believe these assurances, combined with our recommendations to Local Authorities, will help open up the UK's outdoor advertising market to greater competition'.
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