Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A newspaper monopoly?

So, the rumours from earlier in the week are true, and Fairfax and APN want to combine their respective regional newspaper monopolies to form a national one. Given the obvious effects on competition, you'd think the Commerce Commission would be insane to allow it. OTOH, the business community views monopolies as desirable and profitable, and under National the government faithfully serves them, so it can't be ruled out. Meanwhile, the uncertainty and prospect of job losses from a merger will cause experienced staff to leave both companies and look for a secure future elsewhere - so even if it doesn't go ahead, the mere fact that they are trying will be damaging to our already weak media.

...not that the companies will care. Because the thing to remember is that Fairfax and APN are not in the journalism business, they are in the advertising business. News is just the bait for their spam, and they're increasingly recycling it from clickbait factories overseas. This is bad for our democracy, but sociopathic corporations don't value that at all.