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Magazines distributed at newsagents and other outlets are experiencing steadily declining sales, but nevertheless retain a substantial readership base. Are Media, Australasia’s largest magazine publisher, recently gained clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the New Zealand Commerce Commission to acquire the magazine distribution business of Ovato. Many of Are Media’s magazine titles were previously published by Bauer Media, which itself operated an integrated magazine distribution function for many years. Greg Houston, Luke Wainscoat and Alyse Corcoran are delighted to have assisted lawyers for Are Media and Ovato to achieve competition clearance in both countries for this ‘back to the future’ re-integration of magazine publishing and distribution. Our reports to the Commerce Commission and the ACCC explained why it was highly unlikely the proposed acquisition will lead to the foreclosure of rival publishers, and so a substantial lessening of competition in any market.

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