If you want to make a submission to the ACCC about The Magazine Publishers of Australia request for their pilot program, you need to do so by the close of business today. You need to go here and quote in the title of your email "Magazine Publishers of Australia - amended application for authorisation"
I think if you are making a submission you should keep in mind that the ACCC has already issued a draft determination that proposes to grant this pilot program, so I am fairly certain that whatever the ACCC decides to do the pilot will go ahead.
If so, I do not have a problem with that. Whatever I think of the existing arrangements of magazine distribution in Australia. I have no problem with the magazine companies doing a trial with 40 volunteer shops. Maybe they will come up with something. It is up to them to prove something? The only issue I have is that if a trial is done as now proposed, I think it is questionable whether it is open and transparent making it at best useless and possibly even harmful.
So our submission in relation to the requested variation.
Dr Richard Chadwick
General Manager, Adjudication
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
23 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra ACT 2601
Dear Dr Chadwick
Re: Association of Magazine Publishers of Australia Inc application for authorisation A91472 – follow up from Conference
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to participate in the conference held on 23 April 2015.
We see positives and negatives in the new proposed plans for the trial. What particularly does disturb us is this comment made by Paul Holm in his letter dated 5 May 2015, to you.
“Transparency of Pilot Outcomes
My client is engaging a data analytics company to analyse the results of the pilot. My client proposes to provide the ACCC with a copy of this report immediately following its being provided and agrees to this being placed on the Commission’s public register. The aggregate results will also be shared with the newsagents through the Australian Newsagents Federation and will be shared individually with each store participating in the trial.”
From the way it is worded, it appears only the aggregate results will be shared with the ACCC and newsagents through the Australian Newsagents Federation (ANF) and individually to each shop participating in the trial. Without raw figures, it's very hard to confirm as all we know is what we are told. It leaves many people out of it such as many magazine distributors, retailers including newsagents. It also leaves many such as us and tower systems who both expressed interest in helping to monitoring the trials plus any other data analytics organisation anyone else would like to add out. It is also unfair as the only one capable of doing data analytics is a company selected by the MPA to analyse what happened as presumably they will get this raw data to comment on these trial's outcome.
As such we do not see how it could be said that the proposed trial is going to be a *fully transparent process* and that *all data from the Pilot is available to all parties*.
This is not my interpretation of what the MPA, the ACCC and Bauer Media stated should happen at the ACCC conference.
If you wish to follow the discussion, click here.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information.