Turnbull pushes ahead on moves that could reshape industry

Turnbull pushes ahead on moves that could reshape industry

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is pushing ahead with media sector reform that could trigger mergers and acquisitions among the major players but aims to retain diversity in key markets.

This story was originally published by The Sydney Morning Herald

A widely rumoured Ten/Foxtel merger could be on the cards after Communication Minister Malcolm Turnbull is done reforming the media sector.

A reform package is likely to include the abolition of the reach rule, which prevents metropolitan free-to-air networks merging with their regional affiliates, and the two-out-of-three rule, which stops anyone owning more than two of a newspaper, commercial TV licence or radio licence in a major market.

It is understood that the ”voices” diversity test is likely to remain intact in any reform. This means there must be at least five commercial media groups across radio, television and print in mainland capital cities and four in regional markets.

It has been widely speculated that News Corp or its half-owned pay television service Foxtel wants to buy struggling free-to-air broadcaster Ten Network Holdings.

This would likely require the two-out-of-three rule to be scrapped given News owns newspapers around the country and its co-chairman, Lachlan Murdoch, owns radio network Nova Entertainment. News has consistently denied any interest in Ten.

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