WELLINGTON May 3 New Zealand's competition
regulator said on Wednesday it had declined NZME's
takeover of Fairfax's New Zealand unit, saying the
proposed merger would not benefit the public.
"This merger would concentrate media ownership and influence
to an unprecedented extent for a well-established modern liberal
democracy," the Commerce Commission chairman Chairman Mark Berry
said in a statement.
Under the proposed deal, NZME, owned by Australian media
company APN News & Media, would have paid NZ$55 million
($38.01 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 = 1.4472 New Zealand dollars)
(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Gareth Jones)