ACCC allows newsagents to collectively bargain

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted conditional authorisation to the Australian Newsagents' Federation to collectively bargain on behalf of its members with certain magazine and newspaper publishers and distributors.

http://www.accc.gov.au
July 16, 2009

ACCC allows newsagents to collectively bargain

ACCC.gif

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted conditional authorisation to the Australian Newsagents' Federation to collectively bargain on behalf of its members with certain magazine and newspaper publishers and distributors.

"The ACCC considers that the proposed collective bargaining arrangements are likely to deliver public benefits by improving the current bargaining imbalance between newsagents and major publisher/distributors and allowing newsagents more effective input into contractual terms and conditions," ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, said. "The arrangements may also lead to transaction cost savings, as a collective group can share the costs associated with contracting, such as obtaining information and professional advice."

Collective bargaining refers to two or more competitors collectively negotiating terms and conditions with a supplier or customer. Without authorisation, it can raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

"The ACCC considers that there are several features of the proposed arrangements which limit any public detriment. In particular, the proposed arrangements are voluntary and do not involve collective boycott activity."

The ACCC has also imposed a number of conditions on the authorisation to set clear limits on the scope of any negotiations. Where newspaper publishers are concerned, newsagents will be able to form bargaining groups no larger than state level. However, newsagents will be able to form national bargaining groups to negotiate with magazine distributors and publishers, given that many of the issues relating to magazines apply nationally.

Authorisation has been granted for five years.

The ACCC's determination will be available from the ACCC website, via the Public registers and Authorisations and notifications registers links.

Media inquiries

  • Mr Graeme Samuel, Chairman, (03) 9290 1812 or 0408 335 555
  • Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520

General inquiries

  • Infocentre 1300 302 502

Release # NR 172/09
Issued: 16th July 2009
Related register records

Australian Newsagents Federation Ltd - Authorisation - A91134

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/882707


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