Tuesday, 14 September 2010 7:11 AM

Fiji's Commerce Commission Blocks Rival Paper's Bid to Buy Fiji Times

Fiji's Commerce Commission has reportedly turned down an offer by Fiji Sun, one of Fiji's newspaper companies, to purchase the country's longest running newspaper, The Fiji Times.

According to a report by ABC's Radio Australia, Fiji Commerce Commission's chairman, Mahendra Reddy, said that the Fiji Sun expressed interest in buying the Fiji Times but he made it "very clear to them that we cannot allow any clearance for any major or takeover or buy out which led to dominant position".

The Fiji Sun and Fiji Times are the country's two major newspapers and the Fiji Times, owned by Australia's News Limited, is currently up for sale as the country's new Media Decree requires that all news outlets in the country be 90 per cent locally owned.

In the report, when asked by presenter, Jemima Garrett, if he does not believe the Fiji Sun when it says that it would operate Fiji Times as a completely separate business, Mr. Reddy says that that is not possible.

It is not yet known which other parties, if there are any, have expressed interest in purchasing the Fiji Times. News Limited has until the 28th of September to find a local buyer to sell 90 per cent of its holdings to.

To read the full interview with Mr. Reddy, please follow the link below to the Radio Australia site.