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ACCC Won’t Block News Corp’s Takover of Packer’s Consolidated Media

Posted: August 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on ACCC Won’t Block News Corp’s Takover of Packer’s Consolidated Media

ACCC Won't Block News Corp's Takover of Packer's Consolidated MediaAustralia’s corporate and competition watchdog says it will not oppose a bid by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to take over James Packer’s Consolidated Media Holdings. News Corp’s Australian subsidiary News Limited has offered to buy Consolidated Media, which is controlled by Mr Packer, for $2 billion. The move would double News Limited’s stake in dominant pay-TV operator Foxtel. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – ACCC – says the takeover is unlikely to substantially reduce competition. It is still assessing a proposal by the Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven Group to take over Consolidated Media.

The Australian is reporting that James Packer has welcomed the competition watchdog’s decision to approve News Limited’s $2 billion bid to buy Consolidated Media Holdings, as a wait-and-see game unfolds on whether Kerry Stokes will oppose the bid. The expected decision buoyed Mr Packer. He wants to sell his ConsMedia controlling share to concentrate on his gaming assets.

“I welcome the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s decision and reiterate that this is a good deal for News at a fair price,” Mr Packer told The Australian. The green light from the ACCC allows News Limited to move a step closer to gaining what analysts say will be high-earning pay TV assets when it won regulatory approval for its acquisition of Consolidated Media.

In June, News, the owner of The Australian, made a $2 billion bid for ConsMedia.”The ACCC’s view is that this acquisition is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. James Packer’s ConsMedia has a 50 per cent shareholding in Fox Sports Australia and 25 per cent of the shares in pay TV operator Foxtel.