ACCC gives authorisation for CRA to negotiate with Meta and Google

Following authorisation from the ACCC, commercial radio broadcasting industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) can negotiate with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and Google over payment for its member’s stations’ news content.

The ACCC’s final determination gives CRA a period of ten years to collectively negotiate on behalf of all of its members, other than stations operated by Nine Entertainment Co.

The ACCC made a similar authorisation to the Country Press Association in August this year.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “The news media bargaining code offers an opportunity for media companies to negotiate payment for their news content for use by the major digital platforms and provides an incentive for digital platforms to voluntarily conduct these negotiations in good faith.

“To ensure more efficient and effective negotiations for payment for news content by digital platforms, the ACCC will continue to consider authorisation requests from groups of Australian news media businesses that produce public interest journalism.”

Without authorisation from the ACCC, any bargaining arrangements may have breached competition laws.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner welcomed the decision.

Warner said: “Negotiated outcomes will help sustain radio stations in Australia, many of which service small and local communities that have no other source of local news and information.”

In September 2021, the ACCC had granted interim authorisation allowing CRA to engage in the conduct while the ACCC considered the substantive application for authorisation.

CRA represents 261 member radio stations across metropolitan and regional Australia, including ARN, Southern Cross Austereo, NOVA Entertainment, Grant Broadcasters and Nine Entertainment. Nine, whose radio stations are not included in this authorisation, signed commercial agreements with then-named Facebook and Google back in June of this year.


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