Helen Coonan’s media con job was based on successfully passing off one big lie: two out of three ain’t bad.
It’s a lie because Coonan was really paving the way for PBL to have five out of six – and they really couldn’t be bothered with the sixth anyway.
The Nationals and Senator Fielding were successfully snowed with the idea that the media law changes would “only” allow a mogul to own two out of the three media – newspapers, television and radio – in one market. What it really allows is one company to own television, newspapers, magazines, cable and internet in one market. Pass on the radio, it’s already a crowded and competitive market and your standard mogul doesn’t like that sort of environment.
And you could stretch a point and argue that Helen still doesn’t think that’s good enough for her PBL mates in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – she’ll let them have one of the rare new digital mobile thingies as well, just in case it turns out to be worth something. Make it six out of seven.
For all the huff and puff about the ACCC. The only problem PBL would have in taking over Fairfax would be the internet space – combining the Carsales and Seek interests with Fairfax’s online classifieds might just be too obvious a lessening of competition.
Which leads one to wonder if that’s why Seek is reportedly being left out of the joint venture company?
Oh well, you can’t have absolutely everything. Not quite.