The Irish Times has reported that it has been cleared by the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to acquire the Irish Examiner.
The Department of Communications told the Irish Times managing director Liam Kavanagh and Landmark chief executive Tom Murphy that the Minister “is of the view that the media merger proceeding as proposed will not be contrary to the public interest in protecting the plurality of the media”.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) approved of the deal on competition grounds back in April.
It found that the two publications were each other’s closest competitor in the sale of newspapers or advertising, with the Irish Times predominately based in Leinster while the Examiner is more popular in Munster.
The Irish Times agreed on a deal in December that saw the Irish paper acquire the Examiner and other media assets owned by Landmark Media Investments.
The Minister’s approval was the final regularity clearance required to proceed with the acquisition, but there are still a number of legal and compliance steps which will be taken in the coming weeks to finalise the deal, The Irish Times reported.
In a note to staff, the company said, “The Irish Times looks forward to meeting and working with all staff and their representatives to discuss the acquisition.
“We will be making arrangements to do that as soon as possible. This will include briefings to staff in Dublin, Cork, the regional titles and radio stations.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.