As technology develops rapidly, news media publishers are increasingly exploring the potential to distribute news and information across multiple platforms including the printed newspaper, digital, radio and television. These technological advances have also allowed new competitors to enter the news media market and compete for audiences and advertising revenues.
Local media publishers in particular have felt that the current media merger regime does not adequately account for the realities of the local media market today. In 2011, Northcliffe Media's attempted sale of seven weekly newspapers to KM Group was aborted after the Office of Fair Trading referred the sale to the Competition Commission, leading to the closure of several newspapers. Ofcom has since endorsed the local media industry’s position on the issue suggesting that the media merger regime needed to be modified and that local media should be excluded from its plurality review, but there is no evidence that this new approach has been adopted by the relevant authorities.