Who will make the first move?

Media companies size each other up over new ownership rules. 

​Newly relaxed media ownership rules approved on October 17 after passing the House of Representatives has meant Australian media companies are keeping a close eye on one another, as proprietors are freed-up to make deals set to transform the $16 billion industry. 

The reforms toss out the previous two-out-of-three rule that prevented media companies from owning a radio station, newspaper and television station in one territory. In September, radioinfo published full details of the media reform package.

As reported by The Australian, market watchers have outlined several scenarios that could eventuate from the change, though who will move first remains to be seen. 

In March 2016, Nine acquired 9.99% of SCA, with the recent changes to media ownership rules bringing talk of a potential Nine acquisition of SCA, allowing Nine to establish a metro and regional television and radio network across the country, with SCA, Seven or News Corp slated to potentially snap up the radio, digital and billboard advertiser HT&E (formerly APN News & Media). 

While the inevitability of a buying frenzy is uncertain, market watchers believe once the first major deal is closed, others will follow. 


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