Research Insight Resources

The future of bargaining codes

With Facebook shutting down its news tab, what does that mean for laws that are trying to persuade it to fund public interest journalism?

By Fiona Martin, Associate Professor in Online Media, University of Sydney

Research Insight presented by the Public Media Alliance (PMA)
in partnership with IAPMR

When Australia introduced its ‘world first’ ‘News Media Bargaining Code’ (NMBC) in March 2021, it looked like a funding lifeline for public interest journalism providers including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the country’s national broadcaster. So far large European actors like France and Germany have favoured copyright law and news licensing deals over competition regulation, but there are indications that they may also move towards ‘state sanctioned bargaining’. However, Meta’s reluctance to negotiate with some Australian publishers and its attempts to fight off regulation signal the inability of competition law to achieve equitable outcomes for all market players. So, what is the future of competition law mechanisms to force big tech support for public news media?