Australia’s Fairfax Open To Pay Wall Talks With News Corp

If Rupert Murdoch wants a grand alliance of news publishers to raise a pay wall together, he might want to start looking in his homeland. Sydney Morning Herald publisher Fairfax Media’s managing director says he’d be “happy to talk” with News Corp (NYSE: NWS) about just such an idea.

Asked whether he would partner with John Hartigan, CEO of News Corp.’s Australian subsidiary News Ltd, on a paid content strategy, Brian McCarthy said (via “We’re looking at all the options and if that’s one of the options we’ll look at it. I’d have a chat and we’d look at it. It certainly would be something we’d be open minded to at this stage.”

LA Times last week reported renewed momentum over the idea from News Corp, that digital chief Jonathan Miller has met counterparts from New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), Hearst, Tribune Company and Washington Post.

McCarthy cautioned against groups coming together in that way being seen as a cartel: “We need to understand the detail. We’ve got to be careful here because we are competitors in the market. There is a group called the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and whatever we do, we have to make sure we’re doing it within the law. Putting that to one side, as I said I’d be happy to talk to anybody about any suggestions.”