THE competition watchdog has approved a planned merger of two of Australia's biggest radio networks.
A decision from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Friday means the Fairfax-Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) deal can go ahead.
The deal would see Fairfax Media buy 54.5% of MRN, bringing together previous competitors including 2UE and 2GB.
But ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the commission had considered the effect of the merger on the price of radio advertising, but did not oppose a deal as the merged firm would still face competition.
Mr Sims said while few other radio stations operated talkback like 2UE and 2GB, competitors would change their format if it made commercial sense to do so.
A final deal would mean MRN would own three radio licences in Sydney, and due to regulatory rules, the company would divest its interests in 2CH in Sydney and 4LM in Mount Isa after the transaction.
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