Fairfax, NZME in last-ditch appeal to regulator

Fairfax, NZME in last-ditch appeal to regulator

Fairfax Media and NZME have sent a letter to the New Zealand Commerce Commission to champion their proposed merger – a ruling for which is scheduled on Wednesday.

In the letter, Fairfax NZ managing director Simon Tong and NZME chief executive Michael Boggs said that the merger would create “a strong news industry”.

A draft decision from the commission indicated it was likely to reject the decision due to the loss of media diversity and “content quality”.

Other media companies are interested in the outcome of the merger. Southern Cross Media expressed an interest in NZME’s radio assets earlier this month.

Submissions to the commission on the NZME and Fairfax NZ merger last year exposed concerns over a reduction of independent views, the establishment of a near monopoly and job losses.

Of the 27 submissions received, 25 were against the proposal or said it was not in the public interest, and two outlined conditions that should be enacted if the proposal is approved.

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