monitoring agency Media Monitors has gobbled up long-time rival Rehame
in a move that will effectively make the new combined entity
Australia’s only substantial monitoring service.

A possible
tie-up betweeen the two big gorillas of media monitoring has been
touted by insiders for the past decade, but it was generally assumed
the sale would go the other way, with Rehame taking over a scaled-down
Media Monitors. Established in 1984 by Peter Maher, Rehame provides
media monitoring services to more than 3000 organisations.

fifteen years ago each state had a good strong company of its own,” one
industry insider told us, but since then at least ten independent media
monitoring companies were gradually bought up by Rehame or Media

With Rehame and Media Monitors eventually becoming the only big players
left, today’s announcement stitches up the whole Australian industry.
Media Monitors CEO John Croll wouldn’t reveal how much money changed
hands in the deal, but told Crikey: “The vast majority of Rehame staff
will come across – it’s an enormous amount of growth for the company.
Just about all of the Rehame staff will come across and then we’ll draw
from that pool of talent over the next six months.”

said that the media giant had been eyeing Rehame over the last few
years, but negotiations really began to gather steam in January.

CEO and founder Peter Maher expressed his surprise when he took our
call today. “This is the first time Crikey have ever substantiated
anything… what’s going on?”

Once he recovered his
astonishment, Maher said he won’t be staying on in any capacity – but
it won’t be umbrella drinks poolside either. “The first thing is to go
away and take a breath.. and then after that I guess I’ll work out what
the next part of life is going to be.”