Despite its decision to withdraw its acquisition bid for UK magazine and entertainment publisher Highbury House Communications, officials from UK magazine giant Future Publishing have now announced that the company will instead acquire 38 individual non-game related magazine titles from Highbury for £30.5 million ($57.7 million.)
The new deal includes abstruse titles such as Fast Car, Fast Bikes, DJ, DVD Review and the What Video group of magazines, plus Highbury’s five U.S. magazines, but excludes the UK game magazine portfolio that includes gamesTM, Play, XBM, P2, and Retro Gamer. This move will avoid any accusations or formal investigations regarding the creation of a monopoly in the UK game magazine market.
Future pulled out of the acquisition deal
after the British Office of Fair Trading (OFT) indicated that it would be investigating the offer, after concerns that the combination of the largest supplier of computer game magazines in the UK with its largest competitor would lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the UK.
The new deal will leave Highbury in a fairly healthy position, since its video game magazines (formerly Paragon Publishing) are amongst its most profitable. The cash injection from the Future deal should now ensure the company can continue to fund and expand its portfolio – while also ensuring that the UK magazine market is not dominated by a single company.