Any decision on whether media companies NZME and Fairfax can merge has been put off until next year.
The Commerce Commission is considering the application to merge by the two companies, which own newspapers like the New Zealand Herald, The Dominion Post, radio stations and the Stuff and the NZ Herald websites.
NZME and Fairfax lodged their application in May, which the commission says is complex and involves two-sided markets, advertisers and consumers.
A statement from the commission says it is looking at the effects on areas like the provision of national, regional and local news content, including the quality, accuracy and range of the news.
The commission is also assessing whether the merger would allow the new company to increase prices to advertisers and consumers.
A draft determination will be released by early November and then interested parties can make submissions.
A final decision on whether the merger can go ahead will be made by March 15, 2017.