Shareholders Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch launch takeover bid over Channel Ten

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch are launching a takeover bid for Network Ten. The two Channel Ten billionaire shareholders demonstrated their intention on Tuesday to take over the network.

Gordon and Murdoch have sought an informal review of a joint bid for Ten from the competition regulator. The ACCC confirmed the bid on Tuesday. The network was placed in receivership on Monday. The business entered administration in June.

Along with casino mogul James Packer, Gordon and Murdoch guarantee a $30 million finance package. It would keep the network running until the end of August.

The three billionaire shareholders previously guaranteed a $200 million debt facility for the network. According to news.com.au, any changes to media law that would permit Gordon and Murdoch to bid for Ten are on hold until Parliament resumes on August.

Before they can legally take over Ten, some media ownership laws must be altered first. The "two out of three rule,” for instance, does not permit an individual or a company to own a newspaper, television station and radio station in the same licence area.

Murdoch owns radio and newspaper assets in markets where Channel Ten gets broadcast. That means if he were to take over the network, he would have control to all three forms of media, breaching the two-out-of-three rule.

Gordon, on the other hand, is dealing with the “reach rule,” which bars a single television broadcaster from reaching over 75 percent of the population. Gordon currently owns WIN Television, which broadcasts in regional areas. If he were to take over Ten, his reach would extend to metropolitan areas. That would be a violation of the second rule. The Turnbull Government seeks to overturn these rules through its own media law reform bill, something that the Labor group opposed.

Meanwhile, the ACCC is currently doing a review under its merger process guidelines. Submissions from interested parties are due on July 24, while decision or issues statement are due on August 24.

"While this transaction is dependent upon the passage of the media reform bill, it is appropriate that the ACCC begin its review of the proposed transaction that has been put to us by the parties," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said according to ABC. He added the regulator would measure the potential effect upon competition and advertisers and between free-to-air television and Foxtel.

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