Mergers - Case 28

Styria/Moser Holding (free newspapers) - Assessment of the competitive effects of a merger of regional free newspapers

Joint venture between Styria and Moser Holding in the Austrian free newspapers industry. In this case, on behalf of the Austrian Cartel Court, we analysed the effects on competition and media diversity of a merger between two regionally non-overlapping free papers in Austria. The main concern was the risk of market exit of smaller papers due to the ability of the merged entity to provide post-merger a nation-wide advertisement service. Quantitative analysis of the gross advertisement revenues of several large regional papers indicated - alongside further evidence - that the crowding out of small regional papers would be limited. In particular, we found that there was only a limited number of clients that could be reasonably expected to switch to the merged entity. The transaction was cleared by the Austrian Cartel Court.