Published by: Joe Lenane | Published Date: 22nd July 2013
Wholesaler to impose additional carriage charge on retail customers.
The NFRN is calling for an urgent inquiry into wholesaler monopoly abuse following an announcement from EM News that it is to impose a new and additional carriage charge on retail customers from this autumn after winning a contract to distribute News UK titles in Northern Ireland.
This week Chief Executive Paul Baxter visited Stormont where he raised members’ concerns about the news wholesaler‘s “blatant abuse” and urged support for calls for an urgent review into news wholesaling.
Mr Baxter also attended three protest meetings organised by district president James Simpson where angry retailers slammed the wholesaler’s actions.
Members said they were incensed that EM News, a joint venture between wholesalers Easons and Menzies Distribution, is proposing to charge retailers an additional £15 a week for delivering the Sun, Times and Sunday Times. This charge will be imposed on all retailers, whether or not they will receive News UK titles from EM News and regardless of the size or value of their news account.
“This is wholly unethical and tantamount to an abuse of dominance,” Mr Baxter said.
“There is no reason why EM News could not have simply added the value of News UK titles to the retailer’s account for calculating carriage charges, except that this would not have extracted as much money for them.”
“With EM News due to review its carriage charges later this year and with a flurry of recent magazine closures, newspaper sales falling every month and a series of recent fuel price cuts, many members were justifiably expecting to see their carriage charges drop.
“Instead they are facing this new and totally unacceptable charge and, to make matters even worse, EM is advising that it will not be reviewing its current charges. Such a double whammy is totally unacceptable.
“The NFRN is now looking at all political and commercial channels to challenge such a diabolical move.”