Reach Plc’s planned £126.7m takeover of Northern & Shell's Express Newspapers has been cleared by secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Matt Hancock.

RN reported back in April that retailers were worried the takeover could lead to reduced margins. However, Mr Hancock said he would not be referring the deal for a full investigation after the Competitions and Markets Authority reported the merger would not cause reduced competition in the newspaper market.

Reach plc’s chief executive Simon Fox commented: "We welcome today's decision. Today we are two successful separate news organisations, but together we will be stronger and better able to compete and adapt to the challenging conditions in which we operate."  

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