ACCC draft news media bargaining code

04 September 2020

The draft code is designed to address the fundamental bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and major global digital platforms.


A strong and independent media is essential to a well-functioning democracy which is why it is important to address the imbalance.


The recommendation for a code of this nature came out of the 18 month long Digital Platforms Inquiry, conducted by the ACCC, Australia’s independent competition and consumer regulator. 


The ACCC has since developed the draft code and is consulting with a range of stakeholders to refine it in preparation for the introduction of Government legislation into Parliament.


Labor welcomes progress on the draft code to support Australian news media businesses.


We note that negotiate/arbitrate frameworks apply to a range of other sectors and acknowledge the importance of the consultation process now on foot to apply such a framework to digital platforms.


Labor has also articulated concerns with the draft code and is aware of the breadth of issues and concerns being raised by a wide range of stakeholders.


It is imperative that the Australian Government be responsive to the issues and concerns being raised and provides credible responses to them at this stage of the process.


Equally, the digital platforms, Google and Facebook now have the opportunity to come to the table in a constructive manner to help craft a workable solution. 


Google and Facebook have indicated publicly that they are willing to comply with a code of conduct and are willing to pay for news content however both have concerns with the current draft.


Google and Facebook have drawn attention to their concerns using the tools available to them. This highlights their immense reach and power as well as the novel issues and high stakes in this process.


Labor is consulting with a range of stakeholders and we await the introduction of legislation for the code which we will consider and take through our usual decision-making processes.