Microsoft, Apple, Telstra and others warn against removing geo-blocking on prices

Geoblocking

By 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

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64 comments (Leave your own)

Customers will simply import physical items such as hardware, cheaper any way including postage or will use digital delivery, from stores like Steam.

I remember reading it’s cheaper to fly to and from America to buy the Adobe suite.

The CEO(?) of Razer I remember in an interview was perplexed as to why the razer blade was more expensive in Australia and said he didn’t see another dollar because of it. Sounds like local price gouging to me from distributors or retail.

 

What a load of crap hahah. “If we can’t rip you off we just won’t sell you our stuff”. Good for you guys, I’ll just find different ways of “Acquiring” your products if you refuse to sell them to me out of greed.

 

Guess what big business? You won’t just leave. We have 24 million tech hungry people, and all you fuckers have to do is add the letter u to color, and change 12/31/14 to 31/12/14. You’s don’t even make cars drive on the other side of the road…. we are EASY MONEY….. and they know it.

 

Oh F.F.S I can’t say anything about this without a huge amount of obscenities spewing forth from my mouth.

 
ParadoxicalJoker

So if Telstra abandons the Australian market, does that mean NBN Co. no longer has to fight with them to roll out the NBN? :D

 
 

I can understand the extra price on physical items, due to the differences the item might have to have to be sold in the Australia market, plus the fact that it has to get sent here, stronger warranties etc, etc, but to have a price premium on digital goods is outright wrong. There is zero difference between a digital good for the US and a digital good for the AU (even more-so now with actually having R-18 games leaving even less differences than before). If businesses leave the market because they can’t make twice as much from consumers then let them, they’ll quickly regret it when the realise their competitors that stayed are making even more money because we don’t have to go find sometimes ridiculous ways (VPN to India) to get the game a fair price from a different vendor anyway.

 

Yeah right, they will stop making money all together instead of making a bit less. If that’s the case and that’s how they want to be, then let other companies and inventors take their place.

 

There are efficient reasons that firms charge different prices in different geographies,

I haven’t got the time to go through the PDF but what exactly is are “efficient reasons”? Do they define it or is it anything they deem? Seems rediculous that they can justify 50 – 200% mark up on digital wares (even physical goods this is retarded).

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.

Is this just local employment. To be honest in this day and age it does seem redundant, what benefit does having local offices provide (aside from keeping people employed). Or are they trying to imply that their products won’t be sold, which arsine.

 

These would also be the same companies that cry foul when looking at Australian piracy figures? Cognitive dissidence…

 

Well played. Pathetic scare tactics like this would actually work on the current government.

 

LOL at the idle threats.

Go on. Pull out. I dare you. I double dare you.

 

I remember talking to the CEO of a big PC retailer and the main issue they have in regards to higher prices isn’t because companies set the price higher, but the importers.
We only have a couple of importers that import hardware from overseas, which limits pricing competition on their margins.

Basically if you buy something from say… PC Case Gear, they need to honor their warranties, however once you return something that’s faulty, then PC Case Gear send it to the importers who then deal with the problem. (Which adds to the “cost” the importers feel they are obliged to pass on.)

Conversely, when something new and shiny is just released like a new graphics processor, most of the stock is reserved for larger markets like the USA as the importers can get much higher volumes there, then for Australia the new GPU’s which we are talking about only hundreds of units… Are inflated in price substantially due to price/demand.

As for digital products, well, there are agreements between various companies in order to retain a digital and physical price level so, despite digital being cheaper and faster to substantially deliver, we will never see those benefits.

I personally think that we need more importers for competitive reasons, we need legislation to reduce pricing discrepancies and we need to stop protecting physical goods at the expense of digital, let capitalism deem who lives and who doesn’t, that’s the entire point of capitalism.
And lastly, if you can, buy overseas, I sure as hell do.

 

Dear Greedy Corporation F*ckfaces,

I call your bluff.

 

Either give us fair prices to combat piracy, or get out of the country and don’t complain about piracy, since you no longer provide a service here. Simple.

 

xanarax: The CEO(?) of Razer I remember in an interview was perplexed as to why the razer blade was more expensive in Australia and said he didn’t see another dollar because of it. Sounds like local price gouging to me from distributors or retail.

I remember that interview well!

http://games.on.net/2013/10/the-best-possible-product-no-matter-the-cost-razers-ceo-min-liang-tan/

 

LOL….this just reeks of ‘lets come up with something…anything to keep us price gouging’. NO company in its right ‘mind’ would willingly ‘forego’ selling in a lucrative market just because they were forced to actually charge reasonable prices. Thats ludicrous, esp when they still make a forex gain on it.

But for the sake of it, lets assume say Microsoft stops selling in Australia (like a grumpy 5 year old). What will we, the willing customers, do? shop elsewhere eg. China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan. yeah baby..woo hoo..these asian merchants will willingly buy wholesale in China from MS, then ship the crap to Aust to sell to us here (for a price probably 50% cheaper than what we’re currently buying it for). Do you think MS (who will find out quickly) will stop selling to China?

Thats the free market for you MS, et al. I say go fk yourselves. :)

 

GUYS.

DOWNLOADS IN OUR COUNTRY COST MORE THAN OTHER COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF REASONS.

 

Okay, they’ve highlighted their own problem whilst being oblivious to it:

“Price differences may reflect different market and competitive conditions. Each
market ‘bears’ a price that reflects relative levels of demand and supply, as influenced by consumers’ willingness to pay and levels of demand/supply side substitution”

And yet they complain about massive piracy. That’s evidence that people aren’t willing to pay the exorbitant prices.

 

That awkward moment when your employer is on the list :<

 
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