Release of News Media Bargaining Code review

The Albanese Government has released the final report of Treasury’s statutory review into the News Media Bargaining Code.

The review found that in the first year of the News Media Bargaining Code more than 30 commercial agreements were made between digital platforms, Google and Meta, and a cross section of news businesses.  

The review also found the agreements were highly unlikely to have been made without the Code.  The designation of Digital Platforms under the Code was outside the review’s terms of reference.  

Treasury’s review made a number of recommendations, including that Government consider:   

  • directing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to prepare periodic reports on which digital platforms should be covered by the Code;
  • whether ACCC information-gathering powers could be used to obtain information about commercial agreements between digital platforms and news businesses in the context of its response to Interim Report No.5 of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Services Inquiry; and 
  • conducting a further review of the Code after four years’ operation.  

The Government is considering the findings and recommendations of this review, which was conducted by Treasury in consultation with Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, the ACCC, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and will respond in due course.  

The Government remains committed to supporting the news media sector.

The final report can be found on the Treasury website

Quotes attributable to Stephen Jones, Assistant Treasurer: 

“The review shows the Code has been successful balancing bargaining power between news media and digital platforms.” 

“Digital platforms must continue to negotiate in good faith with news businesses to ensure they are fairly remunerated for the news content they create.” 

Quotes attributable to Michelle Rowland, Minister for Communications:  

“The News Media Bargaining Code is one of a number of measures in place to support the news media sector in Australia.”

“The Code is directed at addressing bargaining power imbalances between news businesses and digital platforms while other measures, such as direct funding support for the national broadcasters, community broadcasters and regional news publishers, address other important media policy issues.”