The ACCC news­-media-­bargaining­-code law in Australia

Mandatory code to address bargaining power imbalances between news publishers and digital platforms


The ACCC news-media-bargaining-code law in Australia is mandatory. It essentially addresses the imbalances in bargaining power between news publishers and the Big Tech digital platforms. The following six main elements are a methodology for implementation.

Bargaining – which requires responsible digital platform corporations and registered news
business corporations that have indicated an intention to bargain, to do so in good faith.
Compulsory arbitration – where parties cannot come to a negotiated agreement about
remuneration relating to the making available of covered news content on designated digital platform services, an arbitral panel will select between two final offers made by the bargaining parties.

General requirements – which require responsible digital platform corporations to provide
registered news business corporations with advance notification of planned changes
that are likely to have a significant effect on covered news content.

Non-differentiation requirements – responsible digital platform corporations must not differentiate between the news businesses participating in the Code, or between participants and nonparticipants, or between nonparticipants because of matters that
arise in relation to their participation or non-participation in the Code.

Contracting out – the Bill recognizes that a digital platform corporation may reach a
commercial bargain with a news business outside the Code about remuneration or other matters. It provides that parties who notify the ACCC of such News Media and
Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code 11 agreements would not need to comply with the general requirements, bargaining and compulsory arbitration rules (as set out in the agreement).

Standard offers – digital platform corporations may make standard offers to news businesses, which are intended to reduce the time and cost associated with negotiations,
particularly for smaller news businesses. If the parties notify the ACCC of an agreed standard offer, those parties do not need to comply with bargaining and compulsory arbitration (as set out in the agreement)

The full code document is available here –

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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