A Significant Interest


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Denis O’Brien, who has a 29.9% stake in Independent News and Media and who owns the Communicorp radio group

Draft Government guidelines on media ownership are to be released by Communications Minister Alex White later today.

It follows the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland determining, in  July 2012, that Denis O’Brien does not own Independent News and Media but, rather, that he has a ‘substantial interest’ in the company.

Ahead of this, Fiach Kelly, in the Irish Times, reports:

New Government guidelines on media mergers say it is “undesirable” for one person or business to hold excessive influence and introduce a “public value” test for future consolidation in the industry.

The draft guidelines, which will apply across print, broadcast and online, also set out thresholds that specify how many shares or holdings are needed to be able to influence the “direction or policy … with regard to news, current affairs or cultural content”.

They say that “a holding or voting strength of more than 20 per cent … will generally constitute a significant interest”, while a 10 per cent share could also constitute a “significant interest”.

There you go, now.

‘Public value’ test to be introduced for media ownership (Fiach Kelly, Irish Times)

Related: Shadow of Denis O’Brien looms over new media merger guidelines (Fiach Kelly, Irish Times)

Previously: Denis O’Brien’s Editorial Interference: The Smoking Gun

Well, That’s A Relief

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