Publishers ask Commerce Commission to negotiate with Face Book, Google

Wellington, December 22, 2021

The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from the News Publishers’ Association of New Zealand Incorporated (NPA) seeking authorisation on behalf of its members to collectively negotiate the terms and conditions of participating news media companies’ journalistic and news content being displayed on Facebook and Google.

Key competition issues

The statement outlines the key competition issues that the Commission considers important in deciding whether or not to grant authorisation for NPA’s proposed collective bargaining arrangement.
The Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on the likely benefits and detriments, including the likely competitive effects, of the proposed arrangement. Submissions can be sent by email to registrar@comcom.govt.nz with the reference “NPA Authorisation” in the subject line.

Any submissions should be received by close of business on February 4, 2022.

Parties who are unable to make their submission by this date can apply to the Commission for an extension of time to provide their submission.

The Commission is currently scheduled to decide on the application by June 9, 2022.

However, this may be extended as the investigation progresses.

The Statement of Preliminary Issues and a public version of the application can be found on the Commission’s case register.

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Background information

The Commission may grant authorisation under sections 58 or 65AA of the Commerce Act (the Act) for agreements that may otherwise breach the Act if it is satisfied that the agreement will be likely to result in a benefit to the public that would outweigh any lessening in competition, or such that the conduct should be permitted.

The Commission’s Authorisation Guidelines explain when anti-competitive agreements that may lessen competition will be authorised under section 58 of the Act, and our process for determining such authorisation applications. 

The Commission’s Guidelines on Approach to Authorisations under the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act explain when the Commission will authorise agreements that might contain a cartel provision under Part 5 of the Act, and our process for determining such authorisation applications.

Source: The Commerce Commission, Wellington

 

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