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Australia's Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, has agreed to merge with Nine Entertainment Co. for $ 3 billion – a deal if approved Concerns about the country's rapidly consolidating media market would create a multi-platform empire.
The cash-and-stick agreement – with the shareholders of Nine holding 51.1 percent of the shares and Fairfax losing its name – would make the combination of "TV, Print, Radio, subscription video on demand, digital Real estate classifieds and a range of digital publishing and event assets, "said The Australian Financial Review, a Fairfax-owned newspaper.
"This merger with Fairfax will add another dimension and create a unique all-platform media company that will reach more than half of Australia every day through television, online, print and radio," said Nine CEO Hugh Marks Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, a former journalist and media lawyer, was quick to support the plan. English: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = en.
"I think bringing them together will strengthen both, I think that will both strengthen them like television and online and print journalism," Turnbull said on Tasmania Talks podcast on Thursday after Herald.
"It's a very tough competitive environment these days, and the advent of all online messaging services has made the media so much more competitive than it used to."
The merger would be Fairfax's strengths in print and radio with Nine's dominance on television and combine their efforts into digital streaming The two companies are already co-owners of SteamCo, the parent company of the Stan streaming service, which competes locally with Netflix.
According to Variety Magazine:
"Australia's print, free TV and pay-TV sectors have been a state of turmoil and consolidation for several years, with a combination of high costs and a challenge Netflix has been particularly successful in Down Under.
The challenges of the old media order in the past year forced the Australian government to reduce restrictions on cross-media ownership, curtail restrictions on foreign ownership, and license fees for free-TV programming. Instead, annual licenses have been replaced by spectrum usage fees. "
Bloomberg notes that Fairfax has lost 78 percent of its market value since the financial crisis, as it cut some of its jobs and reduced the value of securities that were once valuable assets. listed.
However, many journalists wondered if the merger would open the door to eroding editorial standards, a concern that Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax, wanted to dispel.
"We are confident that the strength of the combined management team and staff will ensure the continuation of quality journalism," said Hywood in his message to the Fairfax staff about the deal.
The deal must be approved by the shareholders of both companies and approved by the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC).
The Media The Union of Journalists of the Entertainment and Arts Alliance urged regulators to reject the merger
"Today's takeover bid is the inevitable result of the coalition government's shortsighted and ill-conceived changes to media ownership laws, which always lead to less media diversity Marcus Strom, the president of the media department, said in a statement, "Given the ongoing investigation into the independence and long-term viability of quality journalism, the ACCC must block this takeover."