An ongoing IT pricing inquiry into the high price of technological products in Australia, in comparison with the rest of the world, has summonsed several big IT companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, to appear at a public hearing.
It is no secret that we are being overcharged for technological products in Australia and that companies are banking massive profits at our expense as a result. It is not difficult to see the difference in the price of products between Australia and the United States – one merely needs to visit the Apple US and Australian online stores. While the US store advertises the new 128GB iPad for $929 USD, the same product in the Australian store (with a slightly different power adaptor) costs $1,009 AUD – this is more than $80 difference. For those interested, at the time of publishing this article the AUD was $1.03 to the USD.
The Apple iTunes store is another example of prices varying depending on which country you live in. Australian users are often charged more for purchasing singles from the iTunes store when compared with users from the US. This is strongly supported by evidence collected by the consumer group Choice which shows Australians pay up to 50 per cent more than US consumers for identical music, games, software and hardware.
The biggest price difference uncovered by Choice’s research was for a Microsoft software development product. This product was, in fact, less expensive to purchase if you bought return flights to Los Angeles and purchased the product in the US. Even after the cost of the airfares, this would save you thousands of dollars.
The inquiry into IT pricing commenced on 24 May 2012 but, due to a lack of cooperation from some companies, it has been stalled. Under Australian law, any company summonsed to a public hearing is required to participate. It is hoped that all the information required to successfully complete the inquiry will be retrieved as a result of the hearing.
We will report back on this matter when more information is available.