The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues (SoI) outlining concerns with the proposed acquisition of Australian Associated Press Limited’s media monitoring business by iSentia Pty Limited.
The SoI seeks more information on competition issues which have arisen from the ACCC’s review to date.
The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the national market for the supply of media monitoring services, comprising online, print and broadcast media monitoring.
The ACCC is particularly concerned about the supply of media monitoring services to large customers with extensive media monitoring requirements. The ACCC also considers that the proposed acquisition may raise competition concerns in the national market for the supply of media intelligence services.
“Market inquiries have indicated that iSentia and AAP are the only national providers of a full suite of media monitoring services demanded by large companies and government departments,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“These market participants did not consider that smaller providers of media monitoring services, such as online-only monitoring companies, were likely to constrain iSentia post-acquisition as they do not represent a viable alternative to the broad spectrum of media monitoring provided by the merger parties.”
The ACCC’s preliminary view is that new entry or expansion by an existing market participant is unlikely in the foreseeable future given the scale, equipment and copyright licences required to establish a national media monitoring service that monitors both print and broadcast media.
The ACCC invites further submissions from the market in response to the SoI by 31 January 2014. As a result, the ACCC’s final decision will be deferred until 20 February 2014.
The ACCC’s decision will be available on the mergers register.