The Australian government has been investigating unfair electronics pricing in the area for a while now. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Aussies have really got a raw deal.
Unsurprisingly, such corporate giants as Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe weren’t very keen on the inquiry, because the Australians pay about 66% more for Microsoft products and 42% more for Adobe software than the rest of the world.
It turned out that games cost 84% more than in the United States, music 52% more and hardware 46% more. Apparently, inflated prices were only part of an added cost of business to trade in the country, but it doesn’t actually hold up to scrutiny while considering digital downloads.
According to the recent report, the investigating committee claimed it has no idea why it’s “almost invariably cheaper” for Australian games to buy and ship physical media from the United Kingdom to Australia than to get a copy of the same game.
Taking into account the evidence presented to the Committee of very large price differentials, it turned out too difficult for it to avoid the conclusion that such practices lead to international price discrimination to the clear disadvantage of local consumers and companies. Therefore, the Australian Bureau of Statistics was recommended to work on a program that would monitor the price of IT products, hardware and software in Australia and everywhere else in the world.
While universities were encouraged to investigate the needs and costs for education, the Committee suggested to enforce a federally mandated IT procurement policy as well. The most interesting fact is that Australians can get a “right of resale” legislation which would allow them to sell on old digital music and ebooks.