More Dutch newspapers end up in Belgian hands

Stack of newspapersThe Dutch consumers’ authority ACM has approved the takeover of British newspaper group Mecom by Belgium’s Persgroep, which means a large number of regional Dutch papers will also be in Belgian hands.

Mecom owns Wegener, which in turns owns the Gelderlander, the Stentor and Brabants Dagblad, among others. The Persgroep already owns Algemeen Dagblad, the Volkskrant, Trouw and the Parool.

The deal means almost all the big Dutch newspapers are in Belgian hands. Last week, the NRC Handelsblad editorial team agreed to its takeover by Belgium’s Media house.

‘The media landscape is changing rapidly,’ said ACM spokesman Chris Fonteijn. ‘There are fewer newspaper readers, more online news and different advertising options. We judge if mergers ensure there is enough choice remaining for readers, advertisers and in terms of distribution. And that is the case here.’

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