Magazine article Marketing

Kingfisher War with Dixons Stops Merger

Magazine article Marketing

Kingfisher War with Dixons Stops Merger

Article excerpt

Kingfisher war with Dixons stops merger

The advertising war between electrical retailer Dixons, and Kingfisher, played a key role in blocking a merger between the two groups.

Trade and Industry Secretary Nicholas Ridley last week upheld a finding by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) that a merger would be against the public interest because it would significantly weaken competition in the electrical appliances market.

The ad confrontation is between Dixons and subsidiary Currys on the one side and Kingfisher's Comet stores on the other. The MMC says their ads have at times assumed the nature of a "tit-for-tat" price war, with battle lines clearly set out in substantial newspaper advertisements. This battle is seen as having developed an effective price competition.

Comet, Dixons, and Currys are in the top 13 of nationally advertised "names". They account for about two-thirds of all media advertising by electrical retailers.

Dixons told the MMC that advertising is significant in, first, persuading a customer to purchase a type of appliance and, second, in determining which brand he buys and at which retail outlet. …

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