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ACCC to review News Corp’s Racenet purchase plans

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched an informal review into News Corp’s plan to buy horse racing news site Racenet.

The ACCC commenced its review of the proposed deal on Friday, with the impact of competition its primary focus, according to reports from B&T, Australia’s leading title for the advertising, marketing, media and PR industries.

In particular, the competition watchdog is seeking views from interested parties on “the extent to which other betting affiliate services would constrain a combined Punters/Racenet”, and “the likelihood of new entry or expansion by other betting affiliates”.

The ACCC is also examining “the effect of the loss of an independent alternative source of racing news and information to consumers”.

Launched more than 20 years ago by Craig “Clocker” Thompson and Glenn “Robbo” Robbins, Racenet is a digital platform which provides racing news, form guides and tipping to consumers via its website and mobile app.

Racenet also provides betting affiliate services to corporate bookmakers, including referring new customers.

News Corp already owns a rival of Racenet called Punters.com.au, and is trying to acquire it through subsidiary business Punters Paradise.

Interested parties have until 19 October to submit their feedback on the proposed acquisition, with the ACCC pencilling in 29 November as the date it will hand down its decision.

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