Nov 26 (Reuters) – New Zealand media firm NZME NZM.NZ on Friday said it may opt to engage directly with Google and Facebook for fair payment for its news content even as the country’s news publishers association sought regulatory approval for collective bargaining with the digital platforms.

The News Publishers’ Association (NPA) on Thursday filed an application with the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) seeking approval on behalf of its members to collectively bargain with Alphabet GOOGL.O unit Google and Meta Platforms FB.O, formerly Facebook, for fair payments for news published on their websites.

NPA represents about 50 daily and community newspapers in New Zealand.

“While NZME fully supports the NPA application, it is important to note that participation in the arrangement proposed by the NPA is voluntary,” NZME said in a statement.

NZME, which owns the New Zealand Herald, added that it may continue to engage directly with the tech giants and will have full discretion to…

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