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ACCC airs Fox Sports takeover issues

THE competition watchdog is concerned a Channel Seven takeover of a major Fox Sports shareholder could reduce the choice and quality of free-to-air sports television coverage.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a statement of issues about Seven Group's proposed takeover of Consolidated Media Holdings on Thursday.

Chief among the concerns was the potential for the takeover to reduce competition in the free-to-air television market.

The statement said the takeover had the potential to reduce the choice and quality of free television for consumers, particularly in sports coverage.

It also listed concerns the takeover could reduce choice for advertisers, potentially resulting in Seven being able to increase the price it demands of advertisers.

While the issues statement does not indicate whether any of the above will happen, it expresses the commission's concerns that such results could eventuate from the takeover.

The acquisition parties, including Seven Group, CMH and Fox Sports, of which CMH owns 50%, have until September 27 to reply to the watchdog's concerns.


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