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Reactions to declined media merger

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/05/2017

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WHAT'S BEING SAID ABOUT THE COMMERCE COMMISSION'S DECISION TO REJECT A MERGER BETWEEN MEDIA COMPANIES FAIRFAX AND NZME

* "This merger would concentrate media ownership and influence to an unprecedented extent for a well-established modern liberal democracy... This level of influence over the news and political agenda by a single media organisation creates a risk of causing harm to New Zealand's democracy." - Commerce Commission chairman Mark Berry

* "The Commerce Commission's decision shows a lack of understanding about the commercial realities of our industry... New ways forward are essential." - Fairfax New Zealand managing director Andrew Boyle

* "We will be carefully reviewing the NZCC's full, written decision and over the next few weeks we will be considering our options." - NZME chief executive Michael Boggs

* "ComCom fears loss of competition. How many microphones are there at this press conference?" - NZME managing editor Shayne Currie, via Twitter

* "Hypocritical that [the NZCC] spent 45 per cent of its own ad budget on the non-taxpaying Facebook, YouTube it says aren't Fairfax/NZME competition?" - Fairfax group executive editor Sinead Boucher, via Twitter

* "The tech giants do not compete on content generation and the merger would have put an unacceptable amount of power and control over content generation in the hands of too few." - Science Media Centre director Peter Griffin

* "Formerly the driver has been pure market forces. However, this decision recognises there are other values to consider in relation to this merge ... The decision acknowledges monopolies are unacceptable in the media, in large part because of its vital role in our democracy." - E tu union senior industrial officer Paul Tolich

* "Dinosaur ComCom wreaks havoc in modern media environment - so much for adapting to the 21st century. Heavy-handed, out of touch." - Act Party leader David Seymour, via Twitter

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