Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo has approved the acquisition of Israeli newspaper “Makor Rishon” and the operations of news website NRG by “Israel Today,” and the acquisition of Israeli newspaper “Ma’ariv” by “The Jerusalem Post.” The Antitrust Authority reported that an examination of the mergers raised no concerns that justified opposing them under the Antitrust Law.
In their examination, the Antitrust Authority found that while “Israel Today” is a widely distributed, free, daily newspaper, “Makor Rishon” Is sold at a relatively high price, particularly on weekends, with a relatively limited circulation, to a different and distinct readership. The Antitrust Authority also found that the vast majority of “Makor Rishon” readers are exposed to “Israel Today” as well already. Therefore, it was found that “Israel Today’s” incentive to adversely influence the content of “Makor Rishon” is not sufficiently significant.
The antitrust commissioner also concluded that any further delay in the decision of who will buy the newspaper threatens its continued existence, and carries a risk of harming the consumers who buy it. It was therefore found that there is no risk of harming competition or harming the readership or advertisers in these respects. It was also found that the NRG and “Israel Today” websites are relatively limited, and that the acquisition of NRG by “Israel Today” does not raise concern.
The antitrust commissioner’s investigation of the merger between “The Jerusalem Post” and “Ma’ariv,” focused on the connection that would be created between “Ma’ariv” and the weekend newspapers “Sofhashavua” and “Israel Post,” which are owned by “The Jerusalem Post. The examination found that the combined market share of “Ma’ariv,” “Sofhashavua,” and “Israel Post” is relatively small, and there are other large, significant competitors in the sector. It was therefore found that the impact of the merger on competition is negligible, and the commissioner approved the merger.
Eli Azur was represented by Mattan Meridor and Moran Aumann from Agmon & Co., Rosenberg Hacohen & Co. in the antitrust proceedings for the “Ma’ariv” acquisition deal.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 30, 2014
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