The Australian government has been looking into unfair electronics pricing in the country for a year now, and the results are in – Aussies really are getting a raw deal.
Corporate giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe were not very keen on the inquiry. This could be because, as it turns out, Australians pay on average 66 percent more for Microsoft products and 42 percent more for Adobe products than the rest of the world.
Games cost a staggering 84 percent more, while music is up 52 percent and hardware costs 46 percent more than in the USA.
The traditional line has been that inflated prices were just part of an added cost of business to trade in the region. But that doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny when you consider digital downloads.
In the report, the investigating committee also notes it has not received any evidence at all about why it is “almost invariably cheaper” for Aussie games to buy and ship physical media from the UK to Australia than getting a digital copy of the same game.
“Given the evidence presented to the Committee of very large price differentials, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that these practices amount to international price discrimination to the clear disadvantage of Australian consumers and businesses,” the report reads.
The committee, News.com.AU points out, recommended the Australian Buraeu of Statistics work on a program that will monitor the price of IT products, hardware and software in Australia and worldwide.
Universities were encouraged to look into the needs and costs for education, and the committee also suggested putting a federally mandated IT procurement policy in place.
Interestingly, Australians could get a “right of resale” law that would – for digital content – allow them to sell on old music and ebooks, which in some cases are locked to individual user accounts not just in Oz, but everywhere.