Newsagents up and down the country are revolting against publishers and wholesalers with simultaneous campaigns calling for a fairer deal for retailers.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has launched Press for Reform, a campaign calling for a referral of the newspaper and magazine industry to the Competition Commission for a full investigation.

Press for Reform wants the commission to assess "how national and regional publishers fix prices and margins and create monopoly distribution arrangements that threaten the survival of small stores".

Action was urgently needed, said national president Kieran McDonnell. "The unethical way in which publishers and news wholesalers abuse their power to exploit retailers has gone too far," he said.

"We will be doing everything we can to urge politicians and the competition authorities to refer the actions of newspaper publishers and wholesalers to the Competition Commission."

The campaign follows a recent series of margin cuts by publishers, including the Sunday Express, which has slashed its cover price from £1.35 to £1. Despite initially saying it would honour the margin retailers would have received, it has instead based the margin on the £1 price.

This has prompted newsagents across the UK to launch a No Margin, No Shelf Space campaign, in which newsagents are either refusing to sell the Sunday Express or are adding 10p to its price. "Unless terms are restored many newsagents will boycott selling the paper," East Anglian newsagent Brian Webb wrote on his website.