The draft guidelines for the newstrade have been published by the Office of Fair Trading following an extensive investigation into the relationship between publishers and wholesalers.
The document is a fuller version of proposals the OFT outlined in February. Traditionally, retailers’ newspapers and magazines have been supplied by a limited number of wholesalers operating in exclusive territories agreed with publishers.
The OFT’s current thinking is that these vertical agreements are necessary to ensure efficient newspaper delivery.
However, it is suggesting a subtle change to magazine distribution allowing retailers to ask any wholesaler they choose to manage their orders.
Colin Finch, chairman of the Legal & Parliamentary Committee for the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, which has 19,000 independent retail members, said: “The NFRN welcomes the recently published OFT report, and is undertaking a full analysis after which an official comment will be made.”