SCA to sell Sunshine Coast by March
After a long appeal process, Southern Cross Austereo have lost their battle in the Federal Court to retain Mix FM and Sea FM on the Sunshine Coast.
The network moved into technical breach in March 2011 when the Austereo and Southern Cross networks merged, as the two markets have a crossover that is above the threshold.
SCA had requested a variance to the Nambour license area to remove the overlap with Brisbane, and this has been refused. In his decision, Justice Kenny noted that were ACMA compelled to make provision for wide public consultation, as SCA had requested, it would considerably inefficient and would promote instability.
Furthermore, Justice Kenny dismissed each of the administrative law grounds raised by SCA, including their position that the ACMA decision was unreasonable.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman commented "The ACMA is pleased that the Federal Court has recognised that the ACMA’s decision was made properly and in accordance with law",
The decision now requires Southern Cross Austereo to sell both Mix FM and Sea FM by 24 March 2013.
You can read the Federal Court decision here.