The decision has twice been pushed back since it was initiated mid-last year. Both deferrals were to further assess submissions, including a lengthy joint letter from the publishers re-affirming their case which was delivered four days before the original decision date.
Despite the strength of the publishers’ arguments, the proposal has proved to be largely unpopular. The commission received only two submissions for the merger and 25 against, while a recent poll showed almost 50 per cent of the population believed it would affect media diversity.
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