You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oz Senate scuttles media ownership bill

Anticipation of mergers, takeovers caused stocks to rise

SYDNEY — A government-sponsored media reform bill that would have allowed Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer to own a TV station and newspaper in Australia’s capital cities has been torpedoed by the Senate.

The government abandoned its attempt to pass the legislation Thursday after refusing to accept amendments by the Senate that would have blocked television and paper mergers in the same cities.

Stocks of most Oz media groups had risen in the past few days in anticipation of a welter of takeovers and mergers upon approval of the bill. Analysts had expected that the Fairfax newspaper group, long coveted by Packer, and the Ten network, thought to be attractive to Murdoch, would be takeover targets.

Keeping biz local

The measure also would have lifted the caps on foreign ownership of Oz media companies.

Independent senators, who hold the balance of power in the chamber, sought to impose limits on the legislation due to fears it would enable Murdoch and Packer to boost their influence and control and would not lead to greater diversity, as claimed by the government.

Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston rejected the Senate’s amendments as “a cross-media straitjacket by another name.”

The government had argued the cross-media and foreign ownership rules, in force since 1992, were outdated and no longer necessary.

More Biz

  • John Conboy and Donna MillsArchive PhotosJune

    John Conboy, Producer of 'The Young and the Restless,' 'Guiding Light,' Dies at 83

    SYDNEY — A government-sponsored media reform bill that would have allowed Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer to own a TV station and newspaper in Australia’s capital cities has been torpedoed by the Senate. The government abandoned its attempt to pass the legislation Thursday after refusing to accept amendments by the Senate that would have blocked […]

  • Bill Cosby to Hold Comedy Show

    Bill Cosby Announces Comedy Show Ahead of Sexual Assault Retrial

    SYDNEY — A government-sponsored media reform bill that would have allowed Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer to own a TV station and newspaper in Australia’s capital cities has been torpedoed by the Senate. The government abandoned its attempt to pass the legislation Thursday after refusing to accept amendments by the Senate that would have blocked […]

  • THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON

    Childish Gambino Signs With RCA, New Music on the Way

    SYDNEY — A government-sponsored media reform bill that would have allowed Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer to own a TV station and newspaper in Australia’s capital cities has been torpedoed by the Senate. The government abandoned its attempt to pass the legislation Thursday after refusing to accept amendments by the Senate that would have blocked […]

  • --FILE--Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Dalian Wanda

    Wanda Reports Nearly 11% Revenue Drop in 2017

    SYDNEY — A government-sponsored media reform bill that would have allowed Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer to own a TV station and newspaper in Australia’s capital cities has been torpedoed by the Senate. The government abandoned its attempt to pass the legislation Thursday after refusing to accept amendments by the Senate that would have blocked […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content