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Fairfax-NZME merger decision delayed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017

The new NZME building in Graham St. © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images The new NZME building in Graham St. A final decision on the proposed Fairfax and NZME merger has been pushed back to mid-April.

The Commerce Commission had been expected to release its decision on Wednesday, but now won't do so until April 11.

"The extension was required in order for the Commission to properly assess and account for the further information it has received following its draft determination and conference," a Commission spokesman said in a statement.

The draft decision, released in November, was to reject the merger on the basis it would likely substantially lessen competition on a number of markets, including for premium digital advertising, advertising in Sunday and community papers, and see a paywall for at least one of the websites, being nzherald.co.nz or stuff.co.nz.

Commission chairman Mark Berry said it would give one business control of 90 per cent of New Zealand's print media, the second highest level of print media ownership in the world behind China.

News of the delayed announcement comes just a day after Fairfax New Zealand managing director Simon Tong's resignation.

Andrew Boyle will act in the role until a permanent replacement is found.

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