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Channel Nine buys Fairfax in $1.6 bln shake-up of Australian media

2018-07-26 08:28
Newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Ltd said on Thursday (July 29) it had agreed to a A$2.16 billion ($1.6 billion) buyout from television network Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd, in one of the biggest shake-ups in Australian media for decades. The deal marks the end of an era for the 177-year-old publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review mastheads, which will give up the name of founder John Fairfax under the arrangement with the free-to-air broadcaster. The deal comes after the government relaxed cross-media ownership laws in 2017, allowing easier mergers of publishers and broadcasters with overlapping metropolitan markets. The reforms are expected to unleash further rationalisation on the Australian media landscape, where established players have long complained of being handcuffed by cross-ownership rules as they lose viewers and advertising dollars to online heavyweights Facebook and Google. Credit: Reuters