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Antitrust Authority Approves Sale of Makor Rishon

By: JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Antitrust Authority has approved the sale of the Makor Rishon newspaper and the NRG news website to billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom company.

The Authority on Wednesday also approved the sale of the Hebrew-language Maariv to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Makor Rishon had been in danger of closing if a decision on selling the religious-Zionist newspaper had not been made this week.

Israel Hayom, a free daily distributed throughout Israel, began operating in 2007 and has the highest daily circulation of any Israeli newspaper.

Adelson, who made his fortune in casinos, is a major supporter of of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Republican candidates in the United States.

Israeli businessman Shlomo Ben Tzvi and his family put Makor Rishon and NRG on the selling block after poor sales led to the combined company owing about $1 million to creditors and employees.

The Jerusalem District Court approved the $4.9 million sale to Adelson but conditioned the transaction on the approval of the antitrust commissioner, Haaretz reported. The court applied the same condition on the $1.2 million bid for Maariv by Jerusalem Post owner Eli Azur.

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