The change in legislation is also set to reignite a battle between publishers and retail chains such as Tesco. At the centre is national distribution of magazines and newspapers, which could lead to big efficiency savings for the stores, but impose a higher cost burden on small newsagents.
Three years ago, Tesco tried to switch from regional to national distribution, but was forced to back down following furious reaction from newspapers.
The Sun famously ran a story with a caption asking whether Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy was the most dangerous man in Britain.
The latest row is over plans to amend the Competition Act to remove the Vertical Agreements Exclusion, which allows the publishing industry to set up a regional distribution operation centred on one local wholesaler.
Such an arrangement is accepted as being anti-competitive, but has been recognised as the only economic way of sharing the costs of distributing to small retailers.
Removing the exclusion would enable retailers to pick a wholesaler of their choice, increasing competition.
But, according to publishers, it would lead to the break-up of the supply chain, making it uneconomical for many shops to sell newspapers and magazines, or stay in business at all.
Associated Newspapers group circulation director Mike Newman said the government's plans were contrary to the Communications Bill's aspirations for diversity and pluralism in the press.