ACCC investigates News Corp ARM buy

An investigation into News Corp’s acquisition of APN’s regional newspaper arm has been launched by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) with questions raised over monopoly.

News Corp acquired the Australia Regional Media division last week for $36.6m, however the finalisation of the deal remains subject to ACCC approval. If the deal is approved, News Corp will effectively own almost all of Queensland’s printed newspapers; with the exception of one Fairfax-owned title.

“On 21 June 2016 APN News & Media Limited announced it had entered into an agreement to divest its Australian Regional Media division (ARM) to News Corp Ltd,” states the consumer watchdog.

“The ACCC will commence a public review once it has received a submission and the transaction details from the parties.”

News Corp’s proposed acquisition will allow the media conglomerate to procure ARM’s 12 daily and 60 non-daily mastheads.

The sale will also signal APN’s complete exit from printed publishing as the group focuses efforts on its digital and outdoor assets.

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