NEWS19 December 2013

Sale of AAP media monitoring service to iSentia leads to monopoly fears

Asia Pacific Legal

AUSTRALIA — AAPs recent sale of its media monitoring service to iSentia would lead to a monopoly in the market, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

iSentia announced in October that it was to buy out the Australian Associated Press’ media monitoring business, subject to regulatory approval from the ACCC.

According to Australian media news site mUmBRELLA, the ACCC has since released a Statement of Issues (SoI) outlining its concerns with the proposed acquisition. In it, the ACCC outlines its preliminary findings, that the proposed acquisition “is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the national market for the supply of media monitoring services”.

The statement outlined a particular concern over the supply of media monitoring services to large customers with extensive media monitoring requirements.

“Market inquiries have indicated that iSentia and AAP are the only national providers of a full suite of media monitoring services demanded by large companies and government departments,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

“These market participants did not consider that smaller providers of media monitoring services, such as online-only monitoring companies, were likely to constrain iSentia post-acquisition as they do not represent a viable alternative to the broad spectrum of media monitoring provided by the merger parties.”

The ACCC has invited submissions from the market in response to the SoI, to be made by the end of January 2014. The final decision will be deferred until 20 February 2014.