With a key media diversity protection, the two out of three rule, removed from the statutes, we're trading an era of black-letter law certainty on media diversity for more subjective assessments. And one regulator for another: the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will now have a greater say over media mergers than the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which henceforth will primarily regulate the media groups test (five in mainland state capitals, four elsewhere). Since only one major market, Adelaide, is even close to the minimum of 5 groups, that means that for the moment, the ACCC will have a greater say on whether mergers proceed.

How it will do so is the subject of the Commission's new media merger guidelines, issued this morning.