Giants front pricing inquiry
Consumer group Choice has weighed into the country’s on-going debate over IT pricing, after three IT giants fronted the Parliamentary Inquiry into IT pricing late last week.
Tech giants Adobe, Apple and Microsoft appeared before the inquiry to explain why Australian consumers pay on average about 50 per cent more than their American counterparts.
“The committee has been told that big IT companies and copyright holders charge Australians, on average, an extra 50%, a practice consumers call the “Australia Tax,” Committee Chair Nick Champion said.
“Many consumers have drawn the committee’s attention to Apple, Adobe and Microsoft products, so the committee welcomes the opportunity to hear directly from these companies. We look forward to hearing their views.”
Choice took the opportunity to blast particular trade practices, such as geo-blocking which it calls a form of trade protectionism.
The group also took aim at the age-old claim that Australian taxes are significantly higher than the rest of the world.
“While prices on most American websites don’t include their sales tax, Australian prices include a 10% GST. However, can a 50% difference in prices really be explained by a 10% tax?” the group said in a statement.