ACCC re-authorises newsagents to collectively bargain

1 August 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a final determination allowing the Australian Newsagents’ Federation (ANF) to negotiate on behalf of its members with a range of suppliers.

The ANF, through its affiliates and state branches, represents almost 2000 newsagents around Australia.

“Newsagents are often small, family-owned and operated businesses. Collective bargaining allows newsagents to pool resources and undertake a more co-ordinated approach to negotiating with suppliers, many of whom are large, well-resourced businesses,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.

“This will result in transaction cost savings and improve newsagents’ input into contracts.”

“Importantly, participation in the collective bargaining arrangements will be voluntary. If a newsagent wishes to deal directly with a supplier they remain free to do so. Suppliers can also deal directly with newsagents,” Dr Walker said.

Similar collective bargaining arrangements by the ANF on behalf of its members were authorised by the ACCC in 2004 and were subsequently re-authorised in 2009. The ACCC had regard to the previously authorised collective bargaining arrangements in granting re-authorisation for ten years.

Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

Further information about the application for authorisation is available on the public register.

Release number: 
MR 192/14
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