A 'foreign person' with company interests of 2.5% or more (foreign stakeholder) in an Australian media company must tell us of that interest. (The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 defines a 'foreign person'.)
This is to allow increased scrutiny of foreign investment in Australian media companies. It also gives increased transparency as to the levels and sources of foreign investment in such companies.
Register of foreign owners
We maintain a Register of Foreign Owners of Media Assets. This includes information about foreign stakeholders and their interests in media assets.
These might include commercial TV and radio broadcasting licences, and newspapers associated with commercial broadcasting licence areas. We have listed the notification rules under Division 10A of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 below.
Initial disclosure period
Under new provisions, foreign stakeholders were required to notify us of their company interests of 2.5% or more by 28 February 2019.
Change of status
Foreign stakeholders who gain or release company interests of 2.5% or more in an Australian media company need to notify us within 30 days.
End of financial year reporting
Foreign stakeholders must tell us if they hold interests of 2.5% or more in an Australian media company. This must happen within 30 days of the end of each financial year.
Annual report to the minister
The ACMA must prepare a report on company interests in Australian media companies as soon as practicable after 30 July following a financial year and give the report to the minister. The minister may cause a copy of the report to be published on the department’s website. This has occurred since the foreign ownership of media assets scheme came into effect on 1 September 2018. Reports from the 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21 and 2021–22 financial years are available at the links below:
Foreign stakeholders interests Australian media companies 2018–19
Foreign stakeholders interests Australian media companies 2019–20
Foreign stakeholders interests Australian media companies 2020–21
Foreign stakeholders interests Australian media companies 2021–22
Executors, administrators and liquidators
People acting for foreign stakeholders must tell us if notification rules apply to them. This includes executors, administrators and liquidators.
Notify us of foreign stakeholder status
Tell us about your foreign stakeholder status on this form.
Identifying Australian media companies
Our website has information on Australian media companies, which include the owners of commercial television and radio broadcasting licences and the publishers of associated newspapers.
Search for foreign stakeholder records
You can access the Register of Foreign Owners of Media Assets from Media ownership and control registers.
Review of legislative requirements of the Register of Foreign Owners of Media Assets
On 9 March 2023, the Minister for Communications tabled a report of the ACMA’s review of the operation of the legislation for the Register of Foreign Owners of Media Assets (the FOMA Register), undertaken in accordance with section 74U of the BSA.
A copy of the report is here.