News Limited’s journalistic role raises conflict issues around if what they are reporting is unbiased.
ACCC WILL NOT OPPOSE BIRKETU AND ILLYRIA’S PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF TEN
The ACCC has announced that it will not oppose Birketu Pty Ltd (Birketu) and Illyria Nominees Television Pty Ltd’s (Illyria) proposed joint bid to acquire Ten Network Holdings Limited (Ten) (ASX: TEN).
Birketu, owned by Bruce Gordon, and Illyria, owned by Lachlan Murdoch, propose to each acquire a 50 per cent interest in Ten, and to operate it as a joint venture entity. Mr Gordon and Mr Murdoch have links with a number of media assets in Australia.
“The ACCC considers that this deal is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market, despite it lessening competition via a greater alignment of Mr Murdoch’s, Mr Gordon’s, and Ten’s interests,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
The ACCC does not have significant concerns about the potential for overlap between Mr Gordon’s WIN interests and Ten as the networks are broadcast in separate geographic areas.
“Our review focussed on how the transaction would result in an expansion of Murdoch interests in Australian media, when they already have a significant influence in newspapers, Foxtel, radio, and television production,” Mr Sims said.
“We considered whether the acquisition would significantly reduce competition, by causing a reduction in the quality and range of news content, or increasing the negotiation power of the combined Ten/Foxtel/News Corporation.”
The ACCC considered feedback from a wide range of market participants, including broadcasters, sports rights holders, independent content producers, and advertisers.
“On the issue of the effect on competition in the supply of news services, the ACCC took into consideration competition from news providers on other media platforms and in particular, the other free-to-air networks, given Seven and Nine have a stronger position in the market than Ten. Ten news in particular suffers the lowest news ratings of the three commercial networks and has a relatively small online presence,” Mr Sims said.
“The ACCC also considered the effect on competition in the acquisition of sports rights and other types of content. The parties will continue to face competition from the remaining free-to- air networks as well as streaming services for the acquisition of content.”
In assessing the effect on the advertising market, the ACCC took into account that Ten and Foxtel are already commercially aligned through their MCN joint venture. MCN acts as an agent for both Foxtel and Ten to sell advertising.
“The ACCC is not oblivious to the fact that significant influence can be exerted through partial shareholdings and family connections, however the ACCC did take into consideration that this is a proposed 50 per cent acquisition by Illyria,” Mr Sims said.
“Even though incentives to compete may be weakened if the proposed acquisition proceeds, Ten and Foxtel/News Corporation will remain competitors in a number of markets and will be subject to our competition laws which prevent them from making anti-competitive agreements.”
“While this transaction will result in some reduction in diversity across the Australian media landscape, we have concluded it would not substantially lessen competition, which is the test the ACCC is required to assess acquisitions against," Mr Sims said.
"The Australian media market is becoming increasingly concentrated and we will continue to closely examine future media mergers in light of the impact any future loss of competition may have on both choice and quality of news and content produced for Australian audiences.”
CBS has bought Channel 10
CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the Company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market.
Bloody called it.
Deal to Buy Network Ten Will Accelerate CBS’ Global Growth Strategy in Key English-speaking Market
Acquisition Also Paves the Way to Launch
CBS All Access in Australia
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has agreed to acquire Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia, it was announced today by Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. This transaction adds Network Ten to CBS Corporation’s global content and distribution portfolios. In addition to core linear channel TEN, the deal includes digital terrestrial television channel (DTT) ELEVEN, which CBS already owns a 33 per cent stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten’s rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY.
At the same time, by leveraging Network Ten’s linear and digital assets, CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the Company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market. This marks another international territory announced for CBS All Access this month. The Company recently unveiled plans to make the service available in Canada next year.
“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”
“Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content. We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International. “This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”
The transaction will be completed in accordance with the Australian voluntary administration process and is subject to certain regulatory approvals.
Didn’t Bruce claim he knew a few people at CBS back when WIN was threatening Nine with programming his own network?