CRA members receive interim authorisation to bargain with Google & Facebook

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted members of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) authorisation to collectively bargain for payments from Google and Facebook for news content.

The ACCC issued a draft determination this morning for the radio industry’s peak industry body, CRA, to negotiate payment for its members news content, under the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.

CRA represents 261 commercial radio stations Australia-wide, and the draft determination covers all member stations with the exception of those operated by Nine, which came under the media company’s own deals struck with Google and Facebook earlier this year.

CRA CEO Joan Warner

ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “This authorisation gives CRA the opportunity to seek payment from Facebook and Google for its members’ news content and for its members to engage in discussions with each other about those negotiations.

“The passage of the news media bargaining code in early 2021 provided an incentive for the major digital platforms to pay media organisations for the news content displayed on their platforms.

“The ACCC will continue to consider authorisation requests from groups of Australian news media businesses that produce public-interest journalism to ensure more efficient and effective negotiations with the digital platforms.”

CRA chief executive, Joan Warner, welcomed the decision. “CRA now has the opportunity to act as the bargaining agent for CRA members to secure fair. compensation for individual publishers for content they produce that appears on the digital platforms, to reflect the value of that content and the resources required to produce that content.

“Negotiated outcomes providing compensation from Google and Facebook will help to sustain commercial radio stations in Australia, many of whom provide small and local communities with
regional news and information.”

The ACCC is taking submissions in response to the draft determination through to 30 September, 2021.

The ACCC recently granted authorisation for Country Press Australia to bargain with Facebook and Google on behalf of its members.


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