On the same day that the Fin Review devoted 11 pages to covering the Government’s proposed media changes to introduce diversity and choice, an article tucked back on page 54 of the paper’s property section tells the real story.

Online commercial sales and leasing website PropertyLook is on the market, reports the paper, and it’s a bidding war between those old media campaigners News Corp and Fairfax.

“News Corp-controlled internet property site realestate.com.au is poised to extend its hold over Australia’s online commercial property sales and leasing,” says the report. “The listed internet operation is in due diligence to buy propertylook.com.au.”

Fairfax, “which has a strong position in print commercial property advertising and owns a rival real estate site, domain.com.au, was also a bidder,” says the paper.

So it’s business as usual in Helen Coonan’s brave new world of media diversity – and just look at these Roy Morgan figures on where Australians get their online news for confirmation:

News Only Sites* visited in last 4 weeks

Fairfax 1,198,000
News Ltd 1,160,000
Ninemsn 918,000
abc.net.au/news 785,000
Yahoo! News 290,000
Crikey.com.au 190,000
Bigpond News 85,000

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January 2005-December 2005, n=22,428; these are the latest findings of the Roy Morgan Internet Monitor taken from Roy Morgan Research Single Source data, based on 22,428 interviews from people aged 14 years and over Australia-wide in the twelve months to December 2005; Base: Total Australians 14+

Peter Fray

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