DOJ investigating Variety parent’s deal for Hollywood Reporter
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Penske Media’s announced deal to acquire a majority stake in The Hollywood Reporter, reports Alexandra Steigrad and Josh Kosman of the New York Post.
Steigard and Kosman report, “Sources said DOJ officials have been reaching out to third parties — including ad agencies that work with digital media companies and in-the-know Hollywood talent agencies that rep actors and musicians — to determine whether the merger could hurt advertisers who want to reach a professional media audience.
“The DOJ is likewise concerned whether the merger could create barriers to entry for potential competitors, a source familiar with the situation said.
“The DOJ declined to comment. A spokesperson for PMC also declined to comment.
“PMC already owns the entertainment trade magazines Variety and Deadline, as well as Rolling Stone and the trade publication Music Business Worldwide.
“Its acquisitive boss Penske has long coveted The Hollywood Reporter, known for breaking salacious stories on Hollywood insiders, despite concerns that it has been losing millions. Condé Nast was said to have tried to buy THR in 2016, and Jimmy Finkelstein, owner of The Hill, reportedly circled it two years later with a $100 million offer.”
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