Mar 12, 2014

Media feeding frenzy? The mergers — or not — from regulatory change

In the past, relaxation of media ownership regulations has led to a flurry of deals. However, the current dismal market could dissuade the major players from snapping up the competition.

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

Just say Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull wins handsomely and the Senate waves through new media ownership reforms, including abolition of the cross-media and audience reach rules. Then what?

In 2006, when then-minister Helen Coonan relaxed media and foreign ownership restrictions, there was an instant frenzy of deals: the sale of channels Nine and Seven to private equity and a News Corporation grab at Fairfax, which merged instead with Rural Press.

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