The industry body for independent regional and local newspapers will soon be able to collectively bargain payments with both Google and Facebook under the new media bargaining code.
The ACCC announced this morning that it had given interim authorisation for Country Press Australia (CPA) members to share information about their negotiations with Facebook and Google without any risk of breaching competition laws.
CPA currently represents 81 members and 160 regional newspapers.
“The ACCC considers that allowing CPA members to bargain collectively is likely to result in public benefits by enhancing negotiations between regional publishers and digital platforms, and thereby assisting the sustainability of regional news production,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“These public benefits align with the purpose of the news media bargaining code, which was intended to allow and encourage collective bargaining.”
“We welcome the fact that both Facebook and Google appear to be successfully reaching voluntary deals with Australian news businesses, including a number of smaller publishers, following the passage of the bargaining code. The onus now remains on Facebook and Google to continue to negotiate in good faith with news businesses of all sizes.”
Under the News Media Bargaining Code, media businesses can negotiate either individually or collectively to negotiate payments with the tech giants.
There have recently been concerns, however, that smaller publishers are struggling to negotiate deals, while larger publishers – such as Nine, News Corp and Seven West Media – have all successfully reached agreements.
Earlier this week, Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg called out Facebook and Google for failing to reach deals with small publishers.
“Big Tech has so much power and they’ve made public commitments to pay for journalism from small publishers,” he said.
“It’s important that we see the colour of their money and I am very happy to represent the interests of small publishers.”