13 Sep 2010

Fiji Sun purchase of Fiji Times disallowed

10:00 am on 13 September 2010

With just 15 days to go until for the deadline for the sale of the Fiji Times, the Commerce Commission has revealed that it has informed the sale agents that Fiji Sun Limited cannot purchase the Fiji Times.

The Australian-owned News Limited must sell off 90 percent of its shares in Fiji Times, to comply with Fiji's media decree.

The Commerce Commission Chairman, Doctor Mahendra Reddy tells Fiji Village that Pricewaterhouse Coopers approached the Commission after an expression of interest to buy off Fiji Times was received from Fiji Sun Limited.

He said the Commerce Act 1998 clearly states that the Commission is to decide on any merger or takeover, ensuring that there is no one entity becoming a monopoly in a particular industry.

Doctor Reddy said in this case, Fiji Sun would have become the monopoly player in the print media industry in Fiji if it was allowed to purchase the Fiji Times.

It has also been confirmed that Fiji Sun Limited then made an informal approach to Doctor Reddy as it was still interested in buying Fiji Times.