Monday, 26 September 2016

ACCC to rule on News Corp's planned purchase of APN News & Media regional print and online newspapers by 29 September 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently  investigating the proposed acquisition of APN News & Media Limited (APN)'s Australian Regional Media division (ARM) by News Corporation (News) – with the aim of establishing what if any the impact of the proposed acquisition will have on on competition, and whether it will: lower the quality of content, especially local news content; reduce the choices available to readers for local news content; increase newspaper prices and/or increase the price of advertising, especially in newspapers in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

As to lowering the quality of content, especially local news content or reducing the choices available to readers for local news content – well that horse was out the stable door in a flash once Murdoch had acquired the largest single shareholding in APN News & Media.

This will be the extent of News Corp’s print and online stable once the ACCC signs off on this $36.6 million sale:

The acquirer – News Corporation
News Corporation (News) is a global diversified media and information services company with businesses in news and information services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and, through its investment in Foxtel Management Pty Limited, subscription television.
 In Australia, News, through various indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries, publishes a number of state, regional and community newspapers as well as The Australian.
It also publishes various websites associated with its newspapers as well as News publishes the following paid print newspapers in Queensland and northern NSW:
· The Courier Mail, published daily Monday to Saturday, while the Sunday Mail is published on Sunday
· Gold Coast Bulletin, published daily Monday to Saturday
· Townsville Bulletin, published daily Monday to Saturday
· Cairns Post, published daily Monday to Saturday (published as the Weekend Post on Saturdays)

News also publishes the following community newspapers:
· through Quest Community Newspapers, 13 free community newspapers circulating in various parts of greater Brisbane as well as Brisbane News, a glossy free magazine distributed to inner city Brisbane. The 13 free community newspapers are:
o Albert and Logan News o Caboolture Herald o Pine Rivers Press/North Lakes Times
o Redcliffe & Bayside Herald
o City North News o North-West News
o Northside Chronicle
o Westside News
o South-West News/Springfield News
o City South News
o South East Advertiser o Southern Star
o Wynnum Herald

· through Sun Community Newspapers, the free newspaper The Gold Coast Sun, in four localised editions:
o Gold Coast Sun Upper North
o Gold Coast Sun North o Gold Coast Sun Central
o Gold Coast Sun Tweed / Southern 4

· a number of small community publications circulating in Cairns and surrounds including The Tablelands Advertiser, The Tablelander, Innisfail Advocate and the Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette
· the Bowen Independent, a paid newspaper published twice a week, and a number of other small community publications in Townsville and surrounds including The Herbert River Express, The Northern Miner and The Burdekin Advocate. News also publishes the Weekly Times, a paid newspaper distributed predominantly in rural Victoria and the Riverina region. A small number of copies are also distributed in Queensland and NSW.
News also publishes or has an interest in a range of online publications including the following:
· (48.95% interest)
· (majority interest)
· (25% interest)

News, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, also has a 14.99% interest in APN......

The target business – ARM
The target business – ARM The ARM business comprises:
· 12 paid daily, 14 paid non-daily and 32 free non-daily, community newspapers circulating in various parts of south-east and regional Queensland and northern NSW
· 14 specialist print newspapers including 'seniors', 'agriculture' and 'big rigs' titles · 4 specialist business-to-business magazines for the education and health care sectors
· 60 websites including masthead websites, websites for the specialist print newspaper titles, other websites not linked to a print title and classifieds website
· printing facilities located in Yandina, Warwick and Rockhampton in Queensland. A full list of ARM’s print publications is set out below:
North Queensland (Mackay region)
· Daily Mercury
· The Midweek 5
· Whitsunday Times
· Whitsunday Coast Guardian Central Queensland
· The Morning Bulletin
· The Observer
· Capricorn Coast Mirror
· Central Telegraph
· Central Queensland News Wide Bay Burnett
· NewsMail
· Fraser Coast Chronicle
· The Gympie Times
· Guardian
· Isis Town & Country
· Central & North Burnett Times
· Hervey Bay Observer
· The Maryborough Herald
· Cooloola Advertiser
· Hervey Bay Independent

South-East Queensland - Sunshine Coast
· Sunshine Coast Daily
· Sunshine Coast Sunday
· Noosa News
· Coolum & North Shore News
· Maroochy Weekly
· Kawana Weekly
· Caloundra Weekly
· Nambour Weekly
· Buderim Chronicle South-East Queensland (Greater Brisbane and Ipswich)
· Caboolture News
· Bribie Weekly
· The Logan Reporter
· The Satellite
· Bayside Northern Suburbs Star
· The Queensland Times
· The Ipswich Advertiser South-West Queensland
· Warwick Daily News
· The Chronicle
· Stanthorpe Border Post
· Dalby Herald
· Gatton, Lockyer and Brisbane Valley Star
· Laidley Plainland Leader
· South Burnett Times
· Southern Downs Weekly 6
· Balonne Beacon
· The Western Star
· Western Times
· Chinchilla News and Murilla Advertiser

Northern NSW (Gold Coast, Tweed and northern NSW)
· Tweed Daily News
· Tweed Daily News – Community Edition
· The Northern Star
· The Daily Examiner
· The Woolgoolga Advertiser
· Byron Shire News
· Ballina Shire Advocate
· Lismore Echo
· The Richmond River Express Examiner
· Coastal Views
· The Coffs Coast Advocate

Specialist publications
· Surat Basin News
· Rural Weekly (five editions, including a Northern Territory edition)
· Big Rigs
· CQ Industry
· Style Magazine
· Seniors Newspaper (eight different editions distributed in South-East Queensland and NSW)
· APN Educational Media publications (business-to-business publisher of Education Review, Nursing Review, Aged Care Insite and Campus Review

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