A 4SquareMedia Website

SECTIONS
> Wearable Technology
> Appliances
> Automation
> Automotive
> Buyers Guide
> CEDIA 2010
> Comment
> CES
> Content & Downloads
> Digital Photography
> Gaming
> Green Energy
> HD
> Home Cinema
> Home Office
Accessories
Broadband & Web Hosting
Components
Desktop PCs
Industry
Memory
Microsoft Windows
Monitors And Screens
Notebooks & Tablets
Platforms
Printers & Multi-Function
Security & Support
Software
Storage
> How Stuff Works
> Installation
> Portable Players
> Media Centres
> Phones
> Real Sound
> Reviews
> Smart Awards 2013
> Smart Ideas
> Trio Awards 08
> TVs & Large Display
> Wireless & Networking
PRODUCT REVIEW
> Featured Reviews
SERVICES
> Advertising
> Competitions
> Contact
> Disclaimer
> Signup
> Terms & Conditions
SUBSCRIBE
> Subscribe to Newsletter
> Subscribe to Magazine



Top 10 Viewed Articles
  1. Who Has The Best LCD TV: Sony, Toshiba Or Samsung?
  2. FIRST LCD TV REVIEW: LG Scarlet 60 Vs Samsung Series 6
  3. Sony PS4 Not Far Away
  4. The Humble PC Gets A Whopping Makeover
  5. Sony Bravia LCD TVs Vs Samsung LED HD TVs Which is Best?
  6. Toshiba Working With Microsoft On New Entertainment Xbox
  7. Blu-ray Xbox 360 Planned By Microsoft
  8. Massive Failure Rate For Xbox 360 Exposed
  9. Free Sony PS3 Con
  10. How To Build Your Own Digital Media Server: Part I
Top 10 Viewed Reviews
  1. First Review: Samsung Series 7 LED TV
  2. Movies On-The-Go With Teac DVD Boombox
  3. Who Has The Best 32-inch Screen: Panasonic, Samsung, or Sony?
  4. Who Has The Best Home Theatre Kit? Denon vs Bose
  5. Every Bit Of Defence Counts
  6. New Denon Home Theatre Makes Bose Look Like Yesterdays Technology
  7. Best Media Player On The Market
  8. At $1,499 The Aldi Medion 17-inch Notebook Is A Steal
  9. Affordable Noise Cancelling Headphones That Work
  10. B&W 600 Speaker Delivers Real Sound





HOME OFFICE / PLATFORMS

IT Price Inquiry: Tech Prices To Fall?

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 26/03/2013

After the Inquiry...comes the price drop?


Will these pricetags be less after the Inquiry?
As the furore aorund  IT pricing inquiry dies down, will Aussie tech pricing come down anytime soon?

"We hope so" says consumer watchdog Choice's Head of Campaigns, Matt Levey, who has campaigned tirelessly against tech giants like Apple, Adobe and Microsoft who charge up to 70% more for identical products, like iTunes, Microsoft software and Apple hardware, branded the "Australia tax". 

Tech giants Apple, Adobe and Microsoft were summoned to speak before the IT pricing inquiry on Friday to explain to the parliamentary committee why price of tech goods are far higher here than abroad.

A public form like this is bound to put pressure on the companies to lower their prices, Levey told Channel News.

"These are public companies ...they must be sensitive to public opinion."

And while the watchdog isn't calling for direct government intervention on the regulation of technology pricing on items like iPhones, tablets and sottware downloads, "we'd like possible action on geo-blocking," he said. 

Major global companies including Apple, Microsoft and others engage in farcical practices like geo-blocking, which Choice says should be examined by the government, and may be anti-competitive as well as a trade barrier.

Geo blocking occurs where Aussies are prevented from buying goods cheaper on US websites via online technology.

Tech companies may argue it provides a specialised, localised product, but "give Australians the choice" to select either and allow them save up to $1200, if they don't want the 'customized' product, says Levey.

Since the dawning of the virtual retail world, despite being on the other side of the world, Aussie consumers can now check the prices of goods like iTunes, iPhones and Microsoft Office in other countries.  

Read:  Apple: We're No 'Price Gougers'

Although they may not be able to purchase the cheaper goods on the websites as companies have very clever technology that recognise international IP addresses, consumers can see how they are being ripped off by one click of a button.

A quick looks at Apple US Store on Friday, shows we pay $150 more for iPhone 5 and on iTunes US, The Strokes new album 'Comedown Machine' costs $7 more, and almost $0.90 more per song down under.

And that just the tip of the iceberg.

Research by consumer watchdog Choice found the price disparity with one Microsoft software development product so high that, you could fly to Los Angeles return to buy the software and "still save thousands of dollars."  Ouch.

- Page Break -
A spokesperson for Nick Champion MP, who is Chair of the Inquiry, being conducted by the House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee, said it is "far from over" and other tech companies will be called before it, although did not name any specific organisation.

The Inquiry is finding more and more disrepancies between AU prices and overseas as it continues its investigations, he said, and expressed doubt over some of the tech giants reasoning behind the giant price discrepancies, as did the Committee members in Canberra.

It is likely the Committee, will issue a report and recommendations once the Inquiry is complete although it won't have any formal weight.

"Consumers should be the No. 1 priority" says Leavy.

Choice, too,  rubbished all of Apple, Microsoft pathetic excuses for price rorts in Oz, including higher labour, freights and taxation  costs: ('can a 50% difference in prices really be explained by a 10% tax?").

Apple "came very prepared [to IT price Inquiry] to blame some one else", Adobe were "evasive" while Microsoft were "very blunt - if you don't like it go elsewhere".

There is "no justification for it, we need action" in particular on geo-blocking practices, says Levey.

Print this article
Email this story to a friend
Link this story:
Link this page to delicious Link this page to Digg Link this page to Furlit Link this page to News Vine Link this page to Reddit Link this page to Spurl Link this page to Yahoo My Web RSS this section





LATEST REVIEWS
New LG 65   New LG 65" Ultra High Definition TV, Complete With Pop Down Speakers: REVIEW
LG Australia has finally rolled out their 65" Ultra High Definition TV offering in Australia and what you get is a TV that delivers a quantum leap in TV technology and surprisingly a significantly improved sound system that is delivered from pop down speakers but the big question is whether it is worth $6,999.
Product Rating 4.5

Westfield To Split   Westfield To Split
Shopping giant to separate ANZ, international operation
Product Rating 0

REVIEW:Note 3 Is The Best There Is In Phablet Smartphones   REVIEW:Note 3 Is The Best There Is In Phablet Smartphones
If you are one of those people who love technology but struggle to manage the hundreds of apps and the endless capabilities that today's smartphones are capable of delivering then the new Samsung Note 3 is not for you.
Product Rating 5




SMARTHOUSE NEWSLETTER
Get the latest news
Subscribe today for your daily news of consumer electronic news...
Get the latest news

ADVERTISE
SmartHouse
reaches over 2 million consumers a year. Contact us today about special deals..

For more information ...

LATEST ISSUE
Smarthouse's
Apr/May 2011 issue

reviews the hot new iPhone attach device, the Zeppelin Air. And we look at what's going on in the tablet space...