Two of Australia’s dominant media outlets, Nine and Fairfax, have announced their plan to merge in one of the largest media deals ever seen in the country.
In a merger worth $4bn, Nine will retain the majority of the shares with 51.1% and Fairfax will own 48.9%. The merged company will be called Nine, losing any mention of Fairfax in the title.
Fairfax Media journalists reacted with anger and surprise after discovering that their company will be overtaken by Nine.
The merger will cut costs for both the broadcaster and publisher, but Nine will retain majority control and control of the editorial policy which has received significant criticism for having the “ethics of an alley cat.”
Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood indicated that “over the last eight years Fairfax media has gone from being at the mercy of the non-stop global media revolution to being the best of its breed.”
Job losses are expected to follow shortly after the merger.