NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) - Fairfax New Zealand and NZME said on Friday that they would appeal New Zealand's competition regulator's decision to bar their merger in the country's High Court.
The companies said in a stock exchange statement that they believed the New Zealand Commerce Commission "was wrong in fact and wrong in law to decline clearance or authorisation".
The New Zealand Commerce Commission in early May declined NZME's takeover of Fairfax's New Zealand unit, saying the deal would not benefit the public.
Under the proposed deal, NZME, owned by Australian media company APN News & Media, would have paid NZ$55 million ($38.61 million)for Fairfax's New Zealand operations. It would also have issued new shares to allow Fairfax to hold a 41 percent share in the new listed entity. ($1 = 1.4245 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield)