Forcing Australian prices to be fair may see companies take their ball and go home, warn tech giants.
By Tim Colwill on June 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) — which is made up of major players like Microsoft, HP, IBM, Oracle, Telstra, and Intel — has claimed in a submission to the Federal Government that legislating against unfair pricing for Australians may cause companies to “abandon or decide not to enter the Australian market”.
The submission, which can be viewed online here (PDF), comes as the government undertakes a Competition Policy Review across a wide range of areas, including online game and software purchases.
“There are efficient reasons that firms charge different prices in different geographies,” claims the AIAA report. “To prohibit this practice risks banning legitimate price differences and forcing multinational firms towards uniform global pricing, thereby denying the very conduct that previous reviews of Australian competition policy deemed beneficial.”
“Reversing those earlier policy decisions via new legislation that limits firms’ ability to control prices could also cause foreign suppliers to abandon or decide not to enter the Australian market, resulting in less competition and less choice for consumers in Australia.”
The AIIA also pointed to the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, saying that banning geo-blocking services for Australians would breach the agreement. We learned in November last year that the Australian Government was in secret talks to reinforce geo-blocking as part of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Here at games.on.net, and across the iiNet Group in general, we very strongly believe in fixing the unfair price discrimination that Australians face when buying software, including the games that are so dear to our hearts.
When a product is delivered digitally at an incredibly low cost to the provider, it is offensive and illogical to charge Australians greatly inflated prices — and we encourage Australians to take every (safe and legal) measure they can to pay a fair price for their content.
Source: via ZDNet