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Seven West & Prime Takeover Won’t Be Opposed By ACCC

The ACCC has announced it will not oppose Seven West Media’s bid to take over it’s regional affiliate, Prime Media Group.

Seven West Media currently operates national commercial broadcast television, digital, publishing and radio operations and has proposed to acquire Prime – it’s main regional broadcaster affiliate.

Seven West Media has proposed to acquire all of Prime’s issued shares through a scheme of arrangement.

Seven West Media and Prime broadcast free to air television to different parts of Australia.

It comes after the ACCC recently reported media speculation that shareholders of the Prime group may vote in opposition of the deal, with the vote set to take place on Thursday 19 December 2019.

But the chair of the ACCC, Rod Sims, said that the possibility of negative impact on consumers and competition arising from the amalgamation was ‘unlikely’.

‘In assessing this proposed deal, we considered the likely impact on competition in providing local news and content to audiences in regional WA,’ Sims said.

‘We found that Seven West Media’s largely weekly regional newspapers and Prime’s weeknightly TV bulletins generally cover different news stories.

‘We also looked at the likely impact on advertisers and news consumers across a number of different media markets, and concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition or choice for advertisers and consumers.’

The investigation set out by the ACCC focused on regional Western Australia, where Prime’s television broadcasts overlap with Seven West Media’s operations of print and online publications, including The West Australian and regional mastheads.

‘Feedback from advertisers and advertising agencies suggests that Prime’s television and Seven West Media’s newspapers don’t compete closely for advertising revenue, and most advertisers have alternative ways of reaching their target audiences,’ Sims noted.

The majority of Prime Media Group’s content is also currently supplied by Seven West Media. However, Prime produces its own regional news broadcasts in some areas, including regional WA where it broadcasts GWN7 News on weeknights.

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