Australian Newsagency Blog

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ACCC will not oppose Fairfax / Nine merger

Mark Fletcher
November 8th, 2018 · 2 Comments

The ACCC has announced today that it will not oppose the merger of Fairfax and Nine. In the announcement are some interesting points worth highlighting:

“Media markets are highly dynamic. The shift to online and the huge reduction in hard-copy classified advertising revenue have changed the media landscape irrevocably,” Mr Sims said.

“The impact of some of these changes is demonstrated in the approximate halving of advertising revenue from Fairfax’s digital and print mastheads in the last five years,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC recognises there will likely be changes to the way Fairfax and Nine operate in future, either due to the changing media landscape more generally or due to the merger itself. However, we reached the conclusion that if such changes do occur, they would not be, to a significant extent, caused by the merger lowering the level of competition,” Mr Sims said.

I remain of the view that Fairfax will be the first Australian newspaper publisher to quit seven day publication of a capital city print newspaper. Fresh management eyes, which will come with the merger, will, I expect bring this day closer. My suspicion is that News Corp. has the new that they will not even contemplate such a move until after Fairfax, even though the numbers for some of their titles make such a move sensible.

Newsagents need to be aware of this and already well advanced in business decisions in a world without the daly newspaper hitting the shelves. There is no downside in being prepared, in attracting shoppers for products other than newspapers.

5 likes

Category: Media disruption

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shayne // Nov 8, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    I wonder if this is related to today’s announcement that Fairfax have backflipped on the transfer of the Canberra Times back to Fairfax from Rural Press as previously announced

    1 likes

  • 2 Graeme // Nov 8, 2018 at 9:17 PM

    Not sure of your comment Shayne, it could be however what was evident was the removal from sale of all Regional owned press by News Corp when the merger or buy out by Channel Nine was eminent.
    it was mooted that News would buy Fairfax Rural Press media to make distribution profitable as well as actual press performance.
    We’ll shall see now that the sale is official what outcomes await.

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