The Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Mr. Denis Naughten, T.D., has formally requested the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (“BAI”) to conduct a full media merger examination under Section 28E of the Competition Act 2002 (as amended). The proposed media merger involves the acquisition of sole control of CMNL Limited, formerly Celtic Media Newspapers Limited, by Independent News & Media Holdings Limited. The parties are media undertakings primarily involved in the publishing of newspapers and operation of websites that act as news portals.
The BAI has 80 working days to provide a report to the Minister in relation to its examination and shall form a view as to whether the result of the media merger is likely to be contrary to the public interest in protecting plurality of media in the State, as defined in the Act (as amended).
In conducting its examination the BAI shall have regard to the requirements laid out in Section 28E(6) of the Act (as amended) and submissions received from the relevant parties including the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the public.
The BAI is now calling for public submissions on this proposed media merger. Submissions* should follow the structure outlined in the Guidelines for Media Mergers – “Section 5: Application of the Relevant Criteria”. Other relevant information may also be included. Public submissions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is 20 working days from the date of this notice and therefore submissions should be received by close of business 14th February 2017.
The Guidelines on Media Mergers can be found here
The Minister’s communication to the BAI can be found here
*The BAI undertakes to use its best endeavours to hold confidential any material provided in response to this process, subject to the BAI’s obligations under law, including the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (“FOI Act”). In making submissions you are asked to consider if any of the information supplied to the should not be disclosed because of its information content, to identify same and to specify reasons for its sensitivity. The BAI will consult about confidential, personal or commercially sensitive information before making a decision on any request received under the FOI Act. Such information may be released in response to an FOI request.