New Zealand competition watchdog outlines preliminary issues in APN-Fairfax merger

New Zealand’s competition watchdog has identified five key areas of overlap that would result from a merger between Fairfax Media New Zealand and APN News & Media.

The Commerce Commission has released a statement of preliminary issues regarding the proposed merger which was announced last month.

APN News & Media Fairfax logos

“We will investigate whether the proposed merger is likely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets by focusing on the unilateral and vertical effects that might result from this merger,” the Commission revealed, in a statement.

“We will consider whether the merged entity will be able to raise the price or reduce the quality of the services it provides to readers and advertisers.”

The Commission will be examining five areas of overlap that may result from the proposed merger, including:

  • paid Sunday papers – between Fairfax’s Sunday Star Times and Sunday News, and NZME’s Herald on Sunday;
  • paid metropolitan newspapers – between Fairfax’s Dominion Post and NZME’s Hawkes Bay Today, and between NZME’s NZ Herald and Fairfax’s Waikato Times;
  • free community publications;
  • the supply of online advertising; and
  • the supply of digital news/information content – between Fairfax’s and NZME’s

APN shareholders will vote tomorrow to separate its merged its New Zealand business which will see eligible APN shareholders receive one new share in NZME for each existing APN share they hold, while retaining their existing APN shareholding.

The Commission is currently scheduled to make a decision on the merger by August 22; however, this date is subject to change pending the Commission’s investigation processes.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.