Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to appear before IT pricing inquiry committee to explain Australia Tax

ed husic

By on February 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm

You’re sick of the Australia Tax, I’m sick of the Australia Tax, we’re all sick of the Australia Tax. Now, we’re finally going to get some answers!

Major tech players Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have been served with a summons (I refuse to even type the word ‘summonsed’) to appear before the committee handling the IT price inquiry on March 22 in Canberra. Having refused to appear before the inquiry committee on request, they now face legal ramifications if they don’t send representatives to explain themselves in front of Parliament.

Ed Husic, Australia’s most vocal opponent of the IT pricing discrepancy is pleased to hear the groups will be held accountable but says the government shouldn’t have needed to step in.

“These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches,” he said. “Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry.”

“While television and computer prices fell 14 per cent according the to the latest Consumer Price Index Figures, there’s still a long way to go – with some estimates suggesting that Australian prices are up to 60 per cent higher than the US.”

“Given the widespread use of IT across businesses and the community, the prices paid for hardware and software can have a major commercial and economic impact. Getting downward movement on IT prices and easing the bite of price discrimination should be an important micro-economic priority – so I’m looking forward to hearing from these firms about their pricing approaches.”

Source: Kotaku AU

37 comments (Leave your own)

this is awesome. I hope the government goes ahead with legal actions and not chicken out.

 

It’s going to be a difficult battle to win. Technically there’s no reason why a company can’t choose to sell a product at a different price in a different region. The only thing that will contribute to stopping this is if the stupid masses stop buying them, and we all know how well that works.

Got a mate in Canberra working on exactly this issue as to why Aussies are getting ripped off. He also said that the Govt is looking at ways to tax digital online purchases but again this isn’t old news.

 

This retarded practice needs to die. I wrote a submission focusing on explaining why Windows shouldnt cost double the US price especially for digital downloads theres just no excuse to charge double for a digital product identical to the US copy. All submissions are here http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ic/itpricing/subs.html
I would link mine but I think it lists my surname, dont want ye facebook stalkers a stalkin’

 

My hopes are high.
My expectations are low.

 

I hope there is a live cast of their of this, would be awesome to hear what excuses they come up with.

That said I agree with Nirvesta, there is not much the government can do to stop this unless they can prove that these companies are acting in an anti competitive nature.

 

I just read Microsofts submission. I would copy paste their key points but the pdf appears to be an image so I cannot copy the text.

 

It’s about time SOMETHING happened.

 

nirvesta:
It’s going to be a difficult battle to win. Technically there’s no reason why a company can’t choose to sell a product at a different price in a different region. The only thing that will contribute to stopping this is if the stupid masses stop buying them, and we all know how well that works.

pretty much. welcome to capitalism everyone.

I don’t actually want the government to get too involved. it’s great they are forcing these companies to justify it to the public. it will give the public a chance to judge what is being said, and decide whether they want to give these companies business. I’m really curious to see what they say. I doubt the real reason will be used, which leaves a few options. unfortunately for them I don’t see a reason that could make them look good.

the government is forcing light on the situation, I just hope they don’t get too legislation-happy.

 

It will be fun to see, but I can’t see it changing anything. With these 3 companies especially there just aren’t any real viable alternatives. I suppose the government could make life difficult for them until they even things out.

 

Nirvesta and skitzor are on the money; their products they decide what price, up to the consumer to decide if that’s a fair deal. but as said, will be fun to see where this goes.
was it an election promise ?

 

These guys can charge what they wish, I guess technically. One of the major points of contestation however brought up by Choice’s rather indepth submission into the inquiry was the whole issue of Geo IP or ‘Geotargeting’.

If they want to charge one region more for whatever reason (with excuses I’m actually looking forward to what they pull out of their ass), then ok – let me access the US store and pay in USD though… – preferably without the need to buggerise around with a VPN…

 

YES!

 

“You’re sick of the Australia Tax, I’m sick of the Australia Tax, we’re all sick of the Australia Tax. Now, we’re finally going to get some answers!”

That’s so cute, I’m sure we will get answers this time (sorry my sarcasm button isn’t working). No doubt prices will suddenly drop, the same way they did when the government asked oil companies why the fuel price was so high and the time they asked coles and woolies why groceries were so expensive.

 
Lord_PorkSword

They need to go for the game companies! I spend a lot more $ on games compared to the occasional purchase of OS’s and Office. (talking from a home consumer perspective here) It seems rather silly that to pay the same price as gamer Bob in another country I have to purchase my games from overseas and import them.
As for Apple…yes make them explain why an album, via iTunes, costs $9.99 over in the US yet the same album here is $16.99!! I’d guess that the record labels are also ripping us off as well…

 

lordporksword:
They need to go for the game companies!I spend a lot more $ on games compared to the occasional purchase of OS’s and Office. (talking from a home consumer perspective here)It seems rather silly that to pay the same price as gamer Bob in another country I have to purchase my games from overseas and import them.
As for Apple…yes make them explain why an album, via iTunes, costs $9.99 over in the US yet the same album here is $16.99!!I’d guess that the record labels are also ripping us off as well…

You forget that games are the reason people go on massacres, don’t ever kid yourself for one second that a government will ever stick up for gamers. It’s a generational thing, it will be a long while before “video game” isn’t a dirty phrase in the halls of power.

 

Please let this work…

 
 

Sad to say but they’ll never follow through

 

Don’t expect anything is going to come out of it. Unless there’s some competitive factor introduced, prices will be what they can get away with.

 

I hope they do get somewhere and we can get some realistic prices for all electrical goods not just IT stuff. I am looking at getting some more camera gear and local prices (except grey imports) are still significantly higher than the US for example. Now I can understand that prices can be a slightly higher here as we are a smaller market and so we have lower volumes to spread any costs over but I would hope that prices could be within at least 10% of the price in the US or I fear we are more and more likely to just not buy locally and import more items be it legally or otherwise.

 
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