Tuesday, 3 November 2009

New hurdle for Genes Reunited deal

The sale of Genes Reunited (as part of Freinds Reunited), by ITV to Brightsolid has a new hurdle to clear - the Competition Commission.

The deal, valued at £25 million (compared to ITV's acquisition cost of £175 million) has been referred by the Office of Fair Trading to the commission because it is concerned that the result could lead to two single major companies in the genealogy market, namely Ancestry and Brightsolid, thereby reducing choice for the consumer.

For more on the story visit
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8339199.stm, and the Telegraph has coverage also at ITV's £25m Friends Reunited sale hit by competition fears

The commission's ruling is expected by April 16th 2010.

UPDATE: Press release from ITV and Brightsolid (abridged)

brightsolid and ITV plc today announced they will work with the Competition Commission (CC) following the decision by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to refer brightsolid’s acquisition of Friends Reunited Group from ITV plc.

Chris van der Kuyl, CEO brightsolid, said: “We are disappointed by the decision to refer brightsolid’s acquisition of Friends Reunited Group to the Competition Commission as we believe the merger will be good for competition and good for consumers. We look forward to demonstrating that this is a lively competitive marketplace with a multitude of free and paid offerings available to consumers. This acquisition presents an excellent opportunity to inject new focus into the iconic brands that form Friends Reunited Group”.


Professional genealogical problem solving and research

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