(AGI) Rome, Dec 6 - The Antitrust authority has given thego-ahead for a joint book distribution venture between theMessaggerie and Feltrinelli groups, conditional on measuresbeing taken to safeguard small to medium-sized publishers. Astatement said the merger would stop the two leadingdistributors at national level competing against each other.The Italian competition authority AGCM has ascertained that thefuture joint venture will hold a dominant position on the thirdparty book distribution market and that this could havenegative effects on small to medium-sized independentpublishers, whose negotiating powers would be significantlyreduced by the new entity. Without the measures taken by theAuthority, these publishers might run the risk of contractsbeing cancelled and indiscriminate refusals to negotiate, withdamaging consequences for financial and contractual conditions.With this in mind, Antitrust has drawn up the followingmeasures to offset potential competition criticalities,effective until Dec. 31 2016: for small to medium-sizedpublishers already distributed by Messaggerie Libri orFeltrinelli/PDE, continuity of current contractual relations isguaranteed, including financial provisions; small tomedium-sized publishers not currently distributed by theseoperators must be given the opportunity to set up a contractualrelationship based on the same conditions as those applying toother publishers of a similar kind. Specifically, the newentity will not have the power to pull out of contracts betweenMessaggerie Libri or Feltrinelli/PDE and small to medium-sizedpublishers, and will be required to extend these - identifiedaccording to a maximum turnover threshold - until Dec. 31 2016,and has not the right to make any pejorative changes to currentcontractual conditions. With regard to small to medium-sizedpublishers currently not distributed by the Messaggerie andFeltrinelli groups, the new entity will be required to offerdistribution contracts under the same conditions as thoseapplying to Messaggerie Libri clients of a similar kind. TheAuthority will monitor terms and conditions closely. . .