Fairfax Media Limited - acquisition of Riverina Media Group

Acquirer(s)

  • Fairfax Media Limited

Target(s)

  • Riverina Media Group

Summary

Fairfax/Rural Press has acquired Riverina Media Group

Market definition

The acquisition was considered in the context of separate markets for supply of advertising to businesses, supply of content to consumers and the acquisition of content.

The geographic extent of the advertising market was considered to be the greater Riverina southern-NSW region. The ACCC considered that the product market from the perspective of advertisers was likely to be wider that just agri-business newspaper inserts, and would include other forms of print advertising. The ACCC did not reach a conclusive view on whether the market included non-print forms of advertising.

Competition analysis

The ACCC issued a Statement of Issues on 15 August 2007. The ACCC conducted extensive market inquiries both prior and after issuing the Statement of Issues. In particular, the ACCC contacted many of the advertisers in the relevant publications. On 18 September 2007 the ACCC formed the view, after taking into consideration all information received from the parties and from market inquiries, that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets.

The ACCC had regard to constraints on the advertising rates of the combined entity, in particular the possibility of expansion of existing players and the possibility of advertising in a combination of the smaller independent publications in the relevant area.

Statement of issues

Document title Date

Timeline

DateEvent
02/05/2007Rural Press Limited acquired Riverina Media Group.
07/05/2007ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
09/05/2007Fairfax Media Limited acquired Rural Press Limited, including Riverina Media Group.
21/05/2007Closing date for submissions relating to the acquisition.
25/05/2007ACCC requested further information from merger parties. ACCC timeline suspended.
09/07/2007Further information received. Timeline recommenced.
15/08/2007ACCC published a Statement of Issues outlining preliminary competition concerns.
30/08/2007Closing date for submissions relating to Statement of Issues.
18/09/2007ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.