An antitrust review by the Department of Justice cleared the way for a merger of Gannett, already the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. by circulation, and New Media’s Gatehouse Media. The New York Post reports that the $1.4 billion deal will create the country’s largest newspaper company.
Gannett is the publisher of USA Today, and Gatehouse owns almost 150 small-market dailies along with hundreds of weeklies and shoppers.
The report cites an SEC filing saying the deal cleared the DoJ’s antitrust review. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, according to Paul Bascobert, Gannett’s new CEO. The deal still requires approval from the European Commission and both companies’ shareholders.
In a memo disclosed as part of the SEC filing, Bascobert said: “We are pleased to report that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has completed its review of New Media’s proposed acquisition of Gannett. As a result, the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act has expired, and we have domestic antitrust clearance for the merger.”