The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Australian Associated Press Ltd’s media monitoring business by iSentia Pty Limited.
iSentia (formerly Media Monitors) is a privately owned media intelligence company with operations in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. AAP is Australia’s national news agency distributing independent news and information to the Australian media and the private and public sectors. iSentia and AAP are the only national providers of media monitoring services capable of providing a full suite of print, online and broadcast monitoring.
“After extensive investigation, the ACCC concluded that it was highly unlikely that AAP would continue to operate its media monitoring business if the proposed acquisition did not proceed,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Any market concentration that limits consumer choice is of concern to the ACCC, but market inquiries also revealed that it is highly unlikely that an alternative buyer for AAP’s media monitoring business will appear.”
The ACCC consulted widely with a range of interested parties, including other media monitoring companies, customers of media monitoring services and publishers throughout the course of its review. The ACCC received information from market participants that AAP was a strong price competitor to iSentia and that its position in the market constrained iSentia’s prices.
“The ACCC does not expect that any new entry or expansion from existing competitors could rival the scale of either merger party in the foreseeable future. This loss of competition is regrettable,” Mr Sims said.
“However, with or without the proposed acquisition AAP would exit the market and the effect on competition would be the same. Therefore the ACCC has decided it cannot oppose the transaction.”