Investors have continued buying up Australian media stocks
in a second day of share price rises, as media executives called for the government
to bring forward plans to scrap cross and foreign-media-ownership rules,
reportsThe Age.

There’s movement at the station and nobody wants the big one
to get away, says Colin Kruger in The SMH
which may or may not have anything to do with $38 million worth of
shares in WA Newspapers changing hands early yesterday.

Meanwhile, critiques of the govt’s proposals keep coming: Not happy, says Foxtel’s
major shareholder, Telstra
– apparently the changes favour the free-to-air television
networks; Coonan’s paper contains a poison pill at its heart, says the Opposition’s Stephen Conroy in The
Age
; And the changes will effectively make the ACCC the new front
line in retaining some media diversity in an already concentrated media market,
say Allan Fels and Fred Brenchley in the Fin
Review
(not online). “And that front line is looking vulnerable.”

Elsewhere, Elizabeth
Knight
in The SMH says forget T3 –
it’s all systems go for a speedy sale of one of Australia’s
engineering showpieces, the Snowy Mountains Hydro electricity asset.

And in the new and delicate phase of the Toll-Patrick
dispute, Stephen Bartholomeusz wonders what Toll’s revised bid will be and whether
Patrick’s Chris Corrigan has another nasty rabbit up his sleeve, in The Smage.

Telstra’s long-suffering shareholders will soon find out if a
raft of major decisions from the Government and competition regulator will
upset the telco’s executives, says Michael Sainsbury in The Oz. But all you hear from Telstra is how regulation is killing it,
says John Durie in the Financial Review. It won’t use the avenues available to install its own regimes.

In other news, Australia
gives its first hairy-chested response to China’s
attempt to restrict iron ore prices…
The rise and rise of ABC Learning
Jamie Packer dabbles in property development… A turf war rages between Australian retail banks and Sydney
investment bankers over New Zealand’s
futures market.

On Wall Street,

US
stocks rallied to a higher close Wednesday
, with the S&P 500 breaching the
1,300 mark for the first time since May 2001. The Dow Jones rose 58.43
points to 11,209.77.

Peter Fray

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