Fairfax shareholders gave “overwhelming” support for the multi-billion dollar merger. The deal was possible after Australia relaxed its media ownership laws last year. The new business will be called Nine, losing the well-known Fairfax name.
The deal wraps in Nine’s television network, one of the nation’s biggest, and Fairfax newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne’s The Age and The Australian Financial Review. It also includes Fairfax’s many radio and digital assets, including news websites in other cities and property listings business Domain.
Until last year’s law changes, proprietors had been prevented from owning newspapers, radio and TV stations in the same city – a rule designed to protect media diversity. Fairfax, which was founded in 1841, has struggled financially in recent years due to declining revenues.