The Department of Justice has launched an investigation to see if Penske Media’s acquisition of The Hollywood Reporter violates antitrust statues, sources have reportedly told The New York Post. The purchase would consolidate three of the four most prominent entertainment industry trade publications under a single owner, which could trigger concern about anti-competitive practices.
It appears the investigation is in a preliminary phase–one that sources tell the New York Post is likely to last several months–with investigators reaching out to third parties that do business with THR and Penske Media’s existing properties in an attempt to understand how the consolidation might impact operations.
DOJ will be looking for assurances that Penske Media is not able to unduly control the cost of advertising to entertainment industry audiences, and that the purchase will not make it burdensome for new publications to enter the sector.
Any decision about intervening in the deal will come at the conclusion of the investigation.