Australian court approves media merger between Nine, Fairfax

SYDNEY (AP) — A court has dismissed a last-ditch challenge and approved the merger of television network Nine Entertainment and newspaper publisher Fairfax Media into an Australian media giant to be known only as Nine.

Fairfax shareholders voted for the merger last week. But major shareholder Antony Catalano argued in his Federal Court challenge that the Fairfax shareholders had not been allowed to consider his proposal to acquire 19.9 percent of the company's shares, which would have scuttled the Nine merger.

Justice Jacqueline Gleeson approved the Nine-Fairfax deal on Tuesday.

The new entity will begin trading on the Australian share market on Dec. 10.