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Publisher given backing for Friends Reunited buyout

A Scottish newspaper publisher has received provisional approval to complete its buyout of the Friends Reunited website.

Last August DC Thomson announced that its digital arm Brightsolid had bought one of the original social networking websites for £25m from ITV.

But in November the buyout was referred to the Competition Commission over fears the company would dominate the UK online genealogy market.

Brightsolid already owns Find My Past and the purchase of Friends Reunited included its spin-off site Genes Reunited.

The two sites, along with market leader, make up the top three services in this particular online field.

After conducting an investigation, the Competition Commission concluded that any merger between these companies would not result in a “substantial lessening of competition”.

“We found that the merger is unlikely to affect competition in the supply of digitization services, or to result in any market foreclosure by affecting the availability of data to retailers of online genealogy services,” it ruled.

DC Thomson publishes a host of magazines, weekly and daily newspapers, including The Sunday Post and Aberdeen-based Evening Express and Press and Journal.

Friends Reunited was bought from its original founders in 2003 by ITV for £175m.

The Competition Commission is now inviting feedback on its findings pending a final decision.

  • Visit to read the Commission’s full report.
  • Comments

    mrs m (22/02/2010 10:23:59)
    terrible considering they are cutting staff from there glasgow depot