Our understanding is that now 30% of newsagents have signed the new agreement which is in line with an ANF survey done a short time ago. This survey said that only 30% would accept it AS IS.
What is wrong is the ACCC have created this unfair David and Goliath conflict by allowing newsagents to bargain collectively only voluntary on a state level. This makes it a pointless exercise, to include the newsagents’ state organisations. It also forces the ANF to stay out.
As there is no monopoly now, what the ACCC should have done is forced publishers and distributors to deal with these state bodies for those newsagents that nominate their state organisations as their agent to negotiate on their behalf.
Still, the state organisations are doing the best they can for their members. VANA newsletter detailing their concerns about these contracts.
For those of you that have not signed and returned your agreements, VANA advice is to contact News Corp to discuss any issues you have.
From my discussions with newsagents that have given up these contracts, the long-term effect to the business is greater than you might think. I know a person who sold his territory to another newsagent on the understanding that he would continue to get the publications at 25%. That newsagency was soon taken over by another newsagency and that one refused to honour this contract with this new subagent saying they could do it for nothing. Now the new subagent is at 12.5%.