What is missing from this morning’s statement from REA Group and News Corp Australia trumpeting a new joint venture?

“News Corp Australia and realestate.com.au today announced a partnership which will see realestate.com.au strengthen its position as a leading source for property news, content and information in Australia.

“From early December, digital property content from News Corp Australia’s major metro, regional and community publications will live at realestate.com.au/news.

“This partnership brings together News Corp Australia, which is the largest source of news and information in the country; and realestate.com.au which has access to the largest audience of Australian property seekers.

“A dedicated national team of real estate News Corp Australia journalists, located in almost every corner of Australia from Townsville to Tasmania, will work together with the realestate.com.au editorial team, to produce national, state and local property market news every day.”

And it goes on to talk up this venture. But nowhere does it mention that News Corp owns 61% of REA Group. And, given that close relationship, the real story really is how a slow-witted News Corp management (particularly in Australia) and REA Group are following the lead of smaller rival Fairfax Media, which has entwined its newspaper real estate coverage with that of Domain via both websites for years.

Laughingly, the statement ended: “Commercial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.” Companies never do, but it is really one arm of News Corp dealing with the parent to at long last plug the biggest weakness in the REA website. — Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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