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14 April 2022

New Zealand Authority Grants Provisional Authorisation For News Publishers’ Association To Collectively Bargain With Meta And Google

The Commerce Commission in New Zealand has provisionally authorised the News Publishers’ Association to collectively negotiate on behalf of member publishers with Meta and Google over payment for content.

The provisional authorisation allows the authorised parties to commence collective bargaining while the Commission continues to consider their authorisation application and reach a concluded view on whether the conduct should be authorised, the Commission said

The Commission said it had assessed the evidence available at this time, and it considered that it was appropriate to grant provisional authorisation, taking into account the factors set out in its  guidelines. In particular, the Commission recognised the likely benefits associated with the collective negotiation in this case, and that there was value in "realising those benefits sooner rather than later."

The likely benefits of collective negotiation include the potential for participating news media companies to pool their resources and reduce the transaction costs of negotiation, the Commission said.

Collective negotiation may also put smaller media companies in a better position to negotiate with Google and Meta than might otherwise be the case. The Commission also considers that allowing this provisional arrangement is unlikely to materially alter the market in a permanent way, it added.