The Commerce Commission has declined the merger between the media companies, Fairfax and NZME and the companies could now take the issue to court.
The Commission's Chairman Dr Mark Berry said the Commission recognised NZME and Fairfax face a challenging commercial environment as they seek to transition from their traditional print products to a sustainable online model.
“We accept there is a real chance the merger could extend the lifespan of some newspapers and lead to significant cost savings anywhere between $40 million to around $200 million over five years. However these benefits do not, in our view, outweigh the detriments we consider would occur if it was to proceed.”
Mediawatch's Colin Peacock told Morning Report it is possible the issue may head to court, with media companies arguing that the Commerce Commission has overstepped its remit.