News

Nov 1, 2017

ACCC walks a fine line in media regulation

The ACCC's new media merger guidelines address diversity but not in a way that provides any certainty for investors or consumers.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

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.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

3 comments

Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “ACCC walks a fine line in media regulation

  1. zut alors

    Great mug shots, the photo is worth a thousand words.

  2. old greybearded one

    Zut is right, but why the hell is he grumpy. No media regulator in Australia has ever discommoded him in the slightest worse luck. The ACCC Bernard does not walk a fine line anywhere. It avoids action at all costs until the ABC or Fairfax, certainly not News Ltd, uncovers a massive scandal. Then 12 months too late it flogs the culprits with a feather and fines them an amount about equal to the CEOs salary. They are worthless in all areas (WIAA).

  3. A.Blot

    The ACCC looking at only competition without assessment of where that would be the best for the benifits to the wider population. This can best be seen by the way it treated Telstra when it announced it was to build FTTP. The Clayton’s telecommunications industry being set up at the time by the Howard’s Government would collapsed. As a result we have had to create another government department to build the nbn and with more government meddling we now have a debacle.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...