Newsagents gain collective bargaining power

NEWSAGENTS have been granted authorisation to enable them to collectively negotiate certain terms and conditions of their contracts with major publishers and distributors of newspapers and magazines, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced.

The Queensland Newsagents Federation, the Newsagents Association of NSW and ACT and the Victorian Association for Newsagents will represent their members and other newsagents who wish to take part in collective negotiations.

“The ACCC is satisfied that the proposed collective negotiations will result in a public benefit by potentially enabling participating newsagents to have greater input into terms and conditions than would be the case if they were to deal individually with publishers and distributors,” ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said.

Authorisation provides protection from court action for conduct or arrangements that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.  Authorisation is granted where the ACCC is satisfied that the benefit to the public from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

“The ACCC considers that the associated public detriment is limited, particularly given the absence of collective boycott activity, the limited number of publishers which are targets of the proposed negotiations and the voluntary nature of the arrangements,” Mr Samuel said.

Publishers and distributors remain free to choose whether or not to deal with the newsagent groups.

The ACCC’s determination will be available from the ACCC website.


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