Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a statement saying it will not oppose News Corp Australia’s acquisition of APN Australia’s regional publishing business- Australian Regional Media (ARM).
The proposed acquisition would combine the two main newspaper publishers in Queensland, adding ARM’s community and regional publications in Queensland and northern New South Wales to News’ extensive portfolio of community, regional, state, and national publications.
In September, The Australian announced that ARM’s total headcount is an estimated 1,200 but an estimated 300 jobs will be cut “aimed at back office, printing and distribution functions, with News Corp seeking to retain as many journalists as possible”.
There are no plans to shut ARM titles, which include The Gympie Times, The Chronicle in Toowoomba and the Ballina Shire Advocate, provided they remain profitable.
ACCC does not oppose News Corp Australia’s acquisition of ARM
News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller today welcomed the Australian Consumer Competition Commission’s (ACCC) decision not to oppose News Corp Australia’s acquisition of APN Australia’s regional publishing business in Queensland and northern NSW.
The ACCC decision not to oppose the acquisition of APN’s Australian Regional Media (ARM), will see News Corp Australia’s publishing portfolio expand to include an additional 12 daily newspapers, 60 community newspapers and non-daily publications, plus more than 30 regional news websites and mobile sites.
These are some of Australia’s strongest regional titles published across regional Queensland and north-east New South Wales and community titles in Brisbane and will complement News Corp Australia’s existing titles in these areas.
Miller said: “The decision to invest in ARM shows News Corp Australia’s commitment to the news media and publishing; to our regional and community audiences and to the growth regions of Queensland and north-east New South Wales.
“ARM’s publications have a long and proud history of serving their communities in Queensland and NSW – they share many of the same values which News cherishes. We both share a heritage of investing ourselves in local communities, providing leadership and connection to the issues that matter.
“As a former CEO of APN, I know these businesses and these teams well and appreciate the significant value they will bring to our company. I look forward to what we can achieve together by combining our collective expertise.”
The 12 daily newspaper and 60 smaller publications in the portfolio reach 1.6 million people across print, online and mobile. The daily newspaper titles in the ARM group are the Daily Mercury, Mackay, the Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, the Observer, Gladstone, the News Mail, Bundaberg, the Fraser Coast Chronicle, the Gympie Times, the Sunshine Coast Daily, QT, The Queensland Times, Ipswich, Warwick Daily News, The Northern Star, Lismore, the Daily Examiner, Grafton and The Chronicle, Toowoomba.
The acquisition remains subject to the Foreign Investment Review Board for approval. Once this is achieved, the integrated operating model is expected to be in place by the end of the month.