Google hit for billions but EU chief regrets not going harder

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Dec-19

The federal government will release details of its formal response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s digital platforms inquiry on 12 December. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says the government is working through its response to issues raised by the ACCC. Meanwhile, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says that in retrospective she would have taken a "bolder" approach to the anti-trust case against Google. The digital giant was fined more than EUR8bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, EUROPEAN COMPETITION COMMISSION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT

Catalano not working with Gordon

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 11-Dec-19

Australian Community Media’s Antony Catalano says he is not working with WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon to block Seven West Media’s takeover bid for Prime Media Group. Their combined stake in Prime is sufficient to prevent Seven from reaching the 75 per cent acceptances threshold to complete the deal. Catalano says that himself and Gordon seem to be of the shared view that the Seven offer does not represent good value for Prime’s shareholders. Both have stressed the need for further changes to Australia’s media ownership laws.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD

Gordon, Catalano block Seven West bid for Prime

Original article by Leo Shanahan, Nick Tabakoff, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 10-Dec-19

Seven West Media has offered a fully franked special dividend of $0.03 per share for regional affiliate Prime Media Group, in addition to the initial offer of 0.4582 of its shares. However, two of Prime’s biggest shareholders – WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon and Australian Community Media’s Antony Catalano – will oppose the bid. The former has stated that Australia’s outdated media ownership laws have stymied rival bids for Prime, while Catalano has reiterated his interest in acquiring Prime in order to build ACM into a diversified regional media group.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA

Seven, Prime buff up terms of merger deal

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Dec-19

Seven West Media and regional affiliate Prime Media Group have declined to comment on speculation that investors may be offered a special dividend to make their proposed merger more attractive. Seven’s offer values Prime at between $0.183 and $0.206 per share, but an independent expert’s report has valued Prime at between $0.21 and $0.24 per share. Paying a cash dividend and utilising Prime’s franking credits would lift the bid to a range that is closer to this valuation.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, LONERGAN EDWARDS AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, BIRKETU PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, REGAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

2020 visions: big calls for new year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 & 31 : 9-Dec-19

The CEOs of Australian media, digital media and advertising groups have shared their views on the outlook for their company in 2020 and the media sector in general. Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill says the deal to acquire Pacific Magazines will increase the publisher’s stability and allow it to increase its focus on the creation of compelling branded content, while Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney says the pay-TV group’s large customer base will be its biggest advantage in 2020. Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says factors such as weak consumer sentiment and its flow-on effect on the advertising market will be the biggest challenge facing his company in 2020.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TWITTER AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, FETCHTV PTY LTD, JC DECAUX AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Foxtel leads ad streaming wars

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 25 : 9-Dec-19

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany says streaming and data are a focus for the pay-TV group, noting that it has invested a lot of money on data in the last year. About 53 per cent of Foxtel customers with an IQ4 set-top box used video-on-demand in October, compared with 45 per cent in July. Meanwhile, the launch of Kayo Sports has attracted new advertisers to Foxtel, which has also introduced a new six-second advertising format.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, FOXTEL MEDIA, FOXTEL NOW, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML

Foxtel cuts jobs, locks in finance after restructure

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 6-Dec-19

Foxtel has confirmed that it has cut about 30 jobs following a recent restructuring which resulted in the amalgamation of three of the pay-TV group’s creative teams. The job losses comprises about 20 employees and 10 contractors, including some positions that are currently vacant. Foxtel recently completed a deal to finance its debt, with major shareholder News Corp providing it with loans that mature in 2027.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, KAYO SPORTS

Stan signs content from Disney’s Fox and ABC

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 29-Nov-19

Subscription video-on-demand provider Stan has secured a new content deal with Walt Disney Company. The deal includes TV programs that were produced by Disney-owned ABC Networks and 21st Century Fox. However, content from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars franchises will still be exclusively available via the rival Disney+ service at present.

CORPORATES
STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANY, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED, DISNEY+, HULU LLC, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

ABC stands firm on Olympics coverage

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 28-Nov-19

The ABC will not back down on its decision to cease providing radio coverage of the Olympic Games. The ABC’s MD David Anderson and chair Ita Buttrose held talks with the Australian Olympic Committee’s president John Coates and CEO Matt Carroll on 27 November. However, a spokesman for the public broadcaster has confirmed that the ABC will not bid for the radio broadcasting rights for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Commercial radio networks are believed to have ruled out bidding for the broadcasting rights.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

Bauer ready to sack magazine luminaries

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 26-Nov-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will shortly rule on Bauer Media’s proposed acquisition of Pacific Magazines. Bauer is said to be identifying roles that will be duplicated if the merger is approved, with a view to downsizing the combined workforce. Bauer CEO Brendon Hill has declined to comment. There has been speculation that Bauer may sell its magazines business to private equity firm Mercury Capital.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MERCURY CAPITAL PTY LTD, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS