Australian Government Inquiry Says High Tech Prices Aren’t Justified
The Australian House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee released its findings report after a lengthy 12-month inquiry into the pricing of technology in Australia. The committee was determining if Australian consumers were actually higher than other countries and if those price increases were justified.
The committee concluded that Australians paid a massive premium on tech products with Aussies paying an average of 50% more than consumers in other countries with some prices being up to 100% more.
In announcing the nearly 150-page report, the Infrastructure and Communications Committee chairman Nick Champion, MP for Wakefield, South Australia, said in a press release,”The committee found that big IT companies and copyright holders charge Australians, on average, an extra 50 per cent, a practice consumers call the ‘Australia Tax’. High IT prices can have significant impacts given the critical role IT plays in many areas of Australian life.”
By product type, the committee found the following price difference between Australian prices and overseas prices:
- Professional software had a 50% average price difference with a 49% median difference
- Microsoft software’s average price was 66% greater in Australia
- Hardware was 46% more expensive on average
- Music products were 52% more expensive on average with a median difference of 67%
- Games had a whopping 84% more expensive average price
Interestingly, a more detailed examination of games by purchase source showed that physical copies through EB Games Australia (part of the GameStop corporation) were 40 to 90% more expensive than America while games purchased digitally through Steam were upwards of 200 to 300% more expensive in Australia than the US.
And I thought that we had it bad in Canada with out prices for just about everything being higher in price than in America. However, it’s clear that Australia is getting just plain hosed by tech companies. It’s a shame that geographic location, even with digital products, is a reason to price gouge.