SOURCE: Newspaper Association of America

October 23, 2007 16:17 ET

NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm Comments on U.S. Department of Justice Approval of Abitibi-Bowater Merger

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - Newspaper Association of America President and CEO John F. Sturm issued the following statement today on the U.S. Justice Department's approval of the merger of newsprint manufacturers Abitibi-Consolidated, Inc. of Montreal and Bowater Inc. of Greenville, S.C.

"NAA for many months has assisted the Justice Department in its examination of the proposed merger by providing information, including substantial economic analyses of the likely anti-competitive effects the proposed transaction would have in the North American newsprint market.

"NAA is disappointed that the merger will be allowed, especially with the extremely limited divestiture proposed by the Justice Department. Approving the combination of the first- and second-ranked newsprint manufacturers is not a healthy development, particularly in light of the history of marketplace activities in the newsprint sector. In addition, we believe that divestiture of a mill in Arizona is not an effective remedy to preserve competition in the newsprint industry, particularly in the southeastern part of the United States where the combined entity will have a stranglehold on newsprint production."

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $59 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as non-dailies and other publications published throughout the world. Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the Association focuses on six key strategic priorities that affect the newspaper industry collectively: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development, newspaper operations and readership. Information about NAA and the industry also may be found at www.naa.org.

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