| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 1996
TDD (202) 514-1888
Justice Department Preserves Competition in Billboard Advertising
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice today said that it would allow Outdoor Systems Inc., a Phoenix-based billboards producer, to go forward with its acquisition of the Outdoor Division of Gannett Co. Inc., given that Outdoor Systems sold its Denver billboard operations. Since both companies operated billboard businesses in Denver, the Department's Antitrust Division required the divestiture in order to ensure that the billboard advertising market in that city remained competitive.
Both Outdoor Systems and Gannett are leading competitors in the billboard advertising business in numerous areas across the country, but they do not market billboards in many localities in common. In the original deal, Denver is the only city in which both companies operated billboard businesses.
Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, said, "Billboards are an important tool for local advertisers, and competition among billboard providers ensures that prices stay low."
The Department investigated Outdoor System's proposed acquisition to determine if the deal as originally proposed would violate antitrust laws by reducing competition in the sale of billboard advertising in Denver. In response to the Department's concerns that the original deal would be anticompetitive, Outdoor Systems agreed to find a suitable buyer for its existing Denver billboard business. Colorado Outdoor Inc., a venture formed by experienced billboard operators in Denver, is the buyer.
Outdoor Systems provides outdoor advertising services in Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Gannett is based in Arlington, Virginia. The outdoor advertising services that are being sold are provided in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and Canada.