The competition watchdog has given the green light for the proposed $40 million merger of Australian Women’s Weekly publisher Bauer Media and New Idea owner Pacific Magazines.
The ACCC has from October assessed the impact of the Bauer purchase, given the close competition between the parties’ key print magazines – Bauer’s Woman’s Day and Take 5, and Pacific Magazines’ New Idea and That’s Life!
However, ACCC chair Rod Sims on Thursday said significant declines in the circulation and revenue experienced by magazines were “sustained, substantial and likely to continue”, resulting in less investment in content and fewer retail promotions.
He said some titles had already closed, with others likely to follow – regardless of Bauer deal – while content offered by the four key magazines in question was all available from other sources.
“Ultimately, we determined that although there is a notable level of competition between the particular print titles, the transaction was not likely to substantially lessen competition because publishers in other media, particularly online publishers, will increasingly compete with Bauer,” Mr Sims said.
Pacific Magazines is Seven West Media’s magazine arm.