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Seven West Media Gets Green Light To Buy Sunday Times

Seven West Media can push ahead with its acquisition of News Corp's The Sunday Times and perthnow.com.au after the competition watchdog declared it won't hurt competition for consumers or advertisers.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said the deal was unlikely to substantially lessen competition for either consumers or advertisers.

"On the consumer side, the large decline in print newspaper readership formed a major part of our analysis. Many consumers in Western Australia are now getting their news online or from other sources," Mr Sims said in a statement.

The regulator also considered other online news outlets, including Fairfax's WAtoday.com.au and ABC News' dedicated Western Australian website, when making its decision on whether it would impact consumers.

The ACCC said that while some advertisers raised concerns about the loss of competition for advertising opportunities, but most acknowledged that print advertising was losing its importance. Advertisers have other advertising options that they could switch to if the WA newspaper tried to increase rates.

"Advertising expenditure in print newspapers in Perth is in steep decline," Mr Sims said on Thursday.

Mr Sims said most of advertisers that the ACCC spoke to are spending less on print newspapers than a few years ago, and are finding alternative ways of reaching target audiences.

AAP

Pic credit: WAtoday

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