Government Plans To Subpoena Major Tech Companies Over Australian Pricing

In Parliament today, the IT Pricing Inquiry reported back on the state of pricing in Australia, and discussed its disappointment with major tech distributors in this country. According to Paul Neville, the Deputy Chair of the committee, there has been a general "reluctance" amongst tech companies to engage and discuss issues surrounding price, to the extent that the committee is now planning to Subpoena major tech companies in Australia.

"They have been difficult," said Neville. "There seems to be reluctance to get involved in the enquiry even after direct request.

"We're not going to accept that and we expect a better level of commitment from the industry."

Neville stated he was reluctant to use the committee's power of subpoena, but there was a catch-22 situation. The committee has been asked to report back on the issue of price, but very few companies are willing to discuss it openly.

According to the committee, many of the excuses being used by major tech companies -- such as the geographical position of Australia relative to the rest of the Western world -- are no longer acceptable, particularly when it comes to digitally distributed products. At this point, claimed Neville, we should be "taking a firm stand on it".

Neville also took aim at the act of geo-blocking, a practice he called "unacceptable".

Hopefully this will -- at the very least -- force local tech distributors to open up, with regards to their local pricing policies.


Comments

    Glad to see they are willing to use the full powers they have at their disposal on a matter such as this - even though it is arguably not that important in the scheme of things, the leaders of the committee seem to realise that this is a issues that people want resolved.

    Also the reason why distributors have probably not interested in turning up to defend their prices is simple - there is no reasonable explanation to explain them. It is greed.

      How is your greed for lower prices more righteous then distributors?

        "How is your greed for lower prices more righteous then distributors?" ... wow, that is a pretty dumb comment. So when the price of fuel starts to become almost unaffordable because the oil companies can basically charge what they want when people start to become desperate, I hope that when you complain about it that someone says to you: "how is your greed for fuel any more righteous than the price they are charging?"

          "fuel" prices can only be priced at what people are willing to pay and at a competitive price (considering other companies will want your money as well). That's why companies can't set prices at whatever they feel like... they'll go broke.

            That only counts if there is alternatives.
            If you don't want to pay for fuel then your car wont run on principles - you HAVE to pay what the oil companies price because there is no alternative.

              You don't have to pay for oil, you want to. If oil prices get too high, then there are always other fuel alternative. or even travel alternatives.

                Correct!

                Like walking and using a bike! For the rest of the world who require the use of a car or public transport Oil/Fuel is STILL a necessity.

        Greed for lower prices? The prices are unfair, they are deliberately increased because they know they can get away with it.

          They get away with it because we are willing to pay those prices.

            ....and price gouging is perfectly okay with you?

              Perfectly fine.
              On eBay, you wouldn't sell your camera to the 10th highest bid... would you?

            Its not that we are willing its that we don't have a choice and have to. Just because people will end up paying for something doesn't mean its priced fairly. Now companies that rely on local importers and distributors are suffering as people are buying from overseas. If the distributors and importers stopped gouging us then these business at the retail end would be more competitive.

              You have a choice, like everyone else. You can either buy it or not.

              Now you refer to 'fairly priced' do you mean on par with Americans or over priced items?

            No, they're able to get away with it because *enough people* are willing to pay those prices, which works in the short term but is actually a foolish strategy since you'll never expand your market until the poor-rich gap balances out. But it's also "safe" since it means they don't have to innovate as much since there's less risk of the entire possible market being saturated with relatively similar goods, which too is an illusion since they've already restricted the size of the market from the get go.

            Also, high prices allow them to make more financially riskier moves, or once again, that's what they think. It looks good on paper until your company goes under at least.

            So, really, they're just worried of changing practices after they've managed to raise the price of goods as much as they have.

              Slightly confused with your comment. You say no, but your explanation agrees with my reply to APK31

            They also get away with it because people like you are defending them. Many people pay these ridiculous prices because they don't know any better. Not everyone knows where to shop around and these companies prey on people like these. Heck, sometimes there is no choice. Price hikes on Steam and GoG for example. You're basically saying that doing this is ok - is it still ok if every digital distributor is forced to set regional pricing in Australia? It's not about shopping around anymore because you can't, they aren't letting you. Now it's either we wait 2 weeks for a game to come from somewhere like Ozgameshop or pay retail price for a digitally distributed game. But hey, I bet you don't care - you're probably now going to say that if we don't want to pay that price, don't buy the game at all.

            I'm surprised that there are even people like you out there defending these decisions. Perhaps you have a vested interest.

              No, They get away with higher prices because people don't know any better. I always at every chance tell people where to get their games cheaper (mostly the internet) and because a lot of people do that. We are now seeing brand new games at JB-hifi next to on par cost to overseas. So close that importing the game yourself would only save $5 or $10.

              So who am I defending now? Who are you to force people to set prices? How would you like if the government cut your wage in half by force?

        It's not about greed, it's about being ripped off!

          ... And also acting in a spirit of neighbourliness towards our less-financially able countrymen ;-) (although technically I believe part of why we get price-gouged is because countries like Russia where their purchasing power is significantly lower have things sold really "cheap" there so they can actually afford it realistically, but still, I doubt they'd be selling everything at a loss in Russia so they don't really need to recoup costs by overcharging us instead)

        Can't tell if trolling or douchebag

        Gerry Harvey, is that you?

          Gerry Harvey asks for tax on imports. He probably supports legislation and regulations that supports big corporations.

          I however do not.

    Now we've got the ball rolling! Hopefully this yields some good results.

    Geo-blocking / Regional lockouts are IMO worse than pricing discrepancies.

      They're the worst. I own 3 3DS's, one for each region. And it's a pain, because I only have to have 1 PSP, PSVita or PS3 for all of those games. The only reason it exists is to hike up local prices, but when games don't exist in your region it only disadvantages fans.

        How are you handling the PSVita situation? Different memory cards and just pulling one out, factory reset, insert the correct region's card?

          Physical imports. I'm using a US account for american games, and I never use the australian one. The exchange rate is terrible so it's very expensive to get JPN Vita games off PSN, it's much cheaper to get the physical copies shipped from play-asia.

            This is by far the way to go, I've recently dabbled in the importing games from Play Asia and its great having physical a physical copy of Dokuro on my shelf - for only like $5 more of the digital price. so good

            Same as I'm doing then. Only issue is that you miss out on any DLC if you get a game from a different region to your PSN account.

    How exactly do you Subpoena someone for a Discussion/Inquiry? I thought you can only compel a testimony in court.

      a subpoena is just legally forcing someone to release documents or information they aren't willing to release

    Of course the major companies do not want to openly discuss their pricing policies; it'd mean that they have to openly admit that their pricing policy comes from a outdated extremely profits over fairness ideal. The companies want to keep consumers paying the overly inflated prices that they have been paying since the late 90s that have helped drive companies into record profits even during times of global recession.

      Subpeonaed company releases statement: "Australians are chumps who pay more for the same products, so we charge more." End of enquiry.

        I got a feel they'd be more likely to just continue to make up reasons regardless of the consequences before they admit that, at least in that way :P

    You know, even if all this achieves is to have adobe & the other major ripoff companies just admit they're charging more simply because they can it'd be progress.

    "You'll suck my rancid cock and be grateful for the privilege you pleb scum!" is at least preferable to feeble and obviously bullshit excuses. Sure you end up with a rancid cock in your mouth either way but at least you're not having your intelligence insulted into the bargain.

    And then they get all up in arms when people pirate stuff. Heck i would pay for Photoshop if it was wasn't priced through the roof.

    I think if we continue to pay these prices, they'll continue to charge them. There might be very little an inquiry can do about that.

    How do you only have one psv for both regions? I thought they were region locked as well. I would love to play all my spyro ps1 games on my vita

    U Mad Retailers?

    Adobe Photoshop: industry Standard - CS5 Full Edition : US - 699 USD, AUS - 1040~ USD , a 300+ USD difference on a product most people are taught in and is the best on the market.

    Autodesk Maya : industry Standard - Maya 2013 : US - 3675 USD, AUS - 5175~ USD a 1500 USD difference.

    Then you have MS who is equally screwing consumers, so good on the government for taking a stand against these companies.

      Yeah and those prices it's cheaper to send an employee to the US, have them buy a few copies of Maya and bring them back in a suitcase than to buy locally.

        You could probably send them in business class. lol

      That said, MS is starting to adopt Apple's version of operating system prices, e.g. $60 or so for Windows 8 Pro rather than however many hundreds I remember Windows 7 Pro being.

      They probably saw the writing on the wall.

      Mind you, Adobe and the rest are price-gouging the US just as badly. I mean, Maya might get away with it because not every Tom, Dick and Harry are buying it, but Adobe could have heaps more sales from the amateur photography and graphic art groups if they lowered the price to something logical, like $100-200.

        The problem here is that Adobe products are considered 'professional' products, it's an image thing to have your product priced that high because people tend to relate price to prestige/performance/every other good quality, which is not neccessarily true.

        I think the windows 8 low price is also to try and increase the amount of people who upgrade to windows 8. They know, and have known for a while, that people are quite hesitant to switch to windows 8, for various reasons, including industry condemnation.

    Wd kick some arse guys

    So, the standard US pricing for a AAA console release is $60. JB typically does them for $70 now, and Dick Smith seems to be doing a few for $60 on release too (Borderlands, Diablo 3, and a few others I've seen). So, we're getting better. But really, this is still needed and a long time coming.

      They only dropped the price from 100$ because we all started to import for half the price when the dollar shot up a few years back.

      That's only because there are now retailers (those who have the sales volume to make it viable) grey importing their own stock. That helps consumers but hurts smaller retailers who aren't in a position to buy stock from anyone but the publisher's preferred distributor.

        I work at one of these retailers and I can tell you that the games aren't grey imported they are just sold at a few cents below cost. Not entirely sure how this works out at a company level but I think its a mechanism of getting people to come to the store.

    I bet there is no documentation anywhere that will say why - it's no longer needed - these businesses have been gouging Aussies for some long it's become second nature.

    What was the catch-22 situation?

      I was going to ask the same question.... maybe I need some more caffeine this Monday morning, but I was confused as to the wording of that paragraph...

      "The committee has been asked to report back on the issue of price, but very few companies are willing to discuss it openly."
      That seems to be the Catch-22. But it doesn't make sense to me either.

      The commission doesn't want to abuse their powers, but it's that or have no one talk to them...

    It's a start, it shows that the goverment is serious when they go this far.

    Though the internet has made it much easier now to look at tech pricing and compare pricing, in some ways we are comparing apples to oranges.
    I hate to play devils advocate, but I have to look at the other side of this beyond simply people complaining about prices and distribution companies being arseholes.

    The pricing structure we currently have is historical, that being prices are based off what they have always been. In the past, it made sense that games and products here were roughly double the price in USD because our exchange rate was roughly half anyway.
    So the internet comes along and combined with digital distribution and cheap air freight, we have the ability to scrutinise our purchases.
    There are a few questions on the other side of the fence though which I feel people are not asking, that being, at the moment people are annoyed at pricing because the AUD is at parity with the USD. So, let me ask, if or when the AUD drops down again to past levels, will people be willing to have their games/tech prices increase again based on the same arguments they put forward to have them made cheaper?
    Additionally, while the exchange rate of AUD to USD is currently on parity, let me tell you that salaries and cost of living expenses are certainly NOT on parity! Would you like your salary to be adjusted based on the USD to AUD exchange rate as well?

    While I agree that region/geo blocking is bloody annoying and a bit of a dick move, we have to understand that pricing is based on Australia's domestic economy. Pricing has to be made to fit with what we can afford and what we are willing to spend. Sure, we may pay more actual dollars [and the equivalent USD] for a game, but as percentage of our income it is actually on par with [or most likely LESS than] the average US gamer.

    I also understand there is the issue of professional software and tangible hardware/goods, but I think the same arguments still apply.

    Ultimately, I do not make this statement as my personal contention and final decision. Quite frankly I just believe that these questions also need to be answered as well as those of the distributors if we are going to build a complete picture and solution to this issue.

      But the value of the US to AU and vice versa has not been at 100% difference which is what they have been charging ($50 for US $100 for AU for games)

        Sorry man u r full of shit' rent and property in the states is piss cheaper than australia

      Exchange rates are a furphy. To take Steam sales as an example, publishers can set regionally differentiated pricing, but the values set are all in USD (eg Dishonored goes for USD 60 on the US store but USD 80 on the Australian store).

        I don't think it is a furphy. Isn't it the entire argument?
        Something costs $60USD in the US, but $80-100AUD here? Ok, sure, steam still lists it's prices in USD, but it transfers to the same industry wide price level here. It is just that listing prices for us and keeping it in USD just adds salt to the wounds, lol.

        If the exchange rate was back at early 2000's levels, we wouldn't be having this discussion. The issues exists *because* of exchange rates. They have changed, but our pricing has not, which appears to upset people for various reasons.

          From my point of view, I would be fine if the final cost of a game/ebook/whatever was dictated by the exchange rate but it never has been. Prices on Steam etc. are supposedly dictated by an agreement between retailers and publishers in Australia, even if it did start as a loose approximation of the exchange rate. If the digital copies had been $50, but still $100 on the shelf apparently the world would have ended so they engaged in price fixing instead of fixing the problem. I'll even give you that there could be extra costs involved in getting a hardcopy game to Australian customers but that doesn't apply to digital and it would never be near the actual difference in price anyway. I'm sure something similar applies to the ludicrous difference in ebook prices between the US and here for the publishers on the already unjustifiable Agency Model.

            I absolutely agree with what you say.

            The issue comes around when you have distribution companies based in Australia. So while we may say that the cost of a product should be adjusted based on exchange rates, what this means is that a companies revenue and profits will also now fluctuate based on exchange rates. Imagine trying to run a company with revenue which fluctuates based on exchange rate, while your local expenses [rent, marketing, staff salaries] are always fixed. For companies with a physical presence in Australia, fluctuating pricing simply isn't practical.
            Now, take digital sales [I will use steam as the example]. We could say that steam is US based, the developer is US based. The publisher may or may not be US based. The final part is important, the publisher. If a company has a physical presence in a country, it makes sense that they are going to want to keep it profitable. Why shoot yourself in the foot? For example, lets say Activision has an Australian publishing subsidiary. If they charge AU customers the US price on steam, then they will be losing money in their physical publishing arm in AU. Additionally for every other local business, competition with local businesses is bad enough, having to compete with global businesses on a level which is above their control [ie: exchange rates] does not create prosperity.
            So, we are in times where the Australian gaming industry is doing it tough with round after round of layoffs and closures , and people ask for more to be done to protect local jobs. We also have people demanding competitive pricing with global companies...... the two of which seem to have a bit of a conflict. We can't have our cake and eat it too.

            While we mainly concentrate on gaming here on Kotaku, I cannot help but think that this would have consequences more far reaching. If we go down a road where pricing is global, then a lot of industries in Australia are completely devalued. We cannot compete with Asia for costs of manufacturing labour [you know, we have these things called industrial relations laws], so we are happy to take advantage of slave labour in other countries, at the detriment to our own workers, if it means more money in our pocket.

            Quite frankly, I am more than happy to pay a little more [which is really, not less expensive, there IS a difference] for a product if it keeps local jobs. And for the people that will say "digital downloads have nothing to do with jobs in Australia, why should they be expensive?", go into your local GAME store and ask an employee what they think......

            The latest AAA game costs $80-$100 in Australia, because AAA games cost $80-$100 in Australia.... And they always have.... A CD in Australia cost's $20 because CDs in Australia cost $20...

            Yes, distributors and the like may be rolling in the money right now because the exchange rate is in their favour [though with digital sales cutting in, this is debatable]. But ultimately it is their prerogative as a business to be making profit. So while they are riding a high wave now, they are also the ones to take a hit when the exchange rate goes the other way.

            My point is not necessarily to take the side of the big companies in this, what I am trying to do is outline some of the much bigger issues and *consequences* of what is going on here, amongst what is basically people saying "I want things to be cheaper because exchange rates"

              Oh hey, revenue and profits DO fluctuate anyway based on exchange rates, for a normal company importing goods from overseas. Stock is never a 'fixed cost' if you're importing- that's why retailers always bitch when the dollar goes down (and exporters bitch when it goes up) - because their rent & wages stay the same, but the cost of their stock fluctuates. Their profit 'margins' are structured so as to account for *reasonable* fluctuations in exchange rates, and I'll give 'em that. But a 57% 'margin' - that is NOT what *I* would call reasonable (see below).

              Last edited 29/10/12 5:20 pm

                Price fixing is illegal, visit the ACCC WEBSITE AND HAVE A READ

                  It wouldn't matter if price fixing was legal because it's frustratingly hard to maintain and it's practically impossible without the governments help.

                  Doesn't matter unfortunately, the ACCC is a toothless tiger when it comes to game prices. All they do is offer for you to get a refund if you purchased the product.

                  @HH - err, no it's not, you just get together with the half-a-dozen major players in your industry and decide how much you're going to charge people.

              Just thought I should mention I enjoyed reading your comments. Very Insightful. And your right about there being much bigger issues,

              This is like the mentality of big content. The Internet has changed things, it has and will absolutely generate a shift in employment opportunities and business models. Deciding that it's okay to try and make things stay the way they are because "that's just the way they are, and change is hard and scary!" is like sticking your head in the sand (whilst flailing around with a hammer and beating anyone you can reach).

              Brick and mortar music/software retailers are going to disappear - pretty sure that's inevitable. Allowing distributors to fix online prices may slow this process for a short time, but it's simply not going to change the result long-term.

              Offshoring is already common practice for a whole range of industries - that boat has sailed. This is the reality of a global economy (yes, we already live in one), and it's not going in the direction you seem to wish it would, so there's really only one way to survive - adapt (or legislate, but that's a whole other can of worms that'd have both business and consumers up in arms).

              I for one would be entirely happy to have pricing fluctuate according to exchange rates, particularly for digital goods - would seem to make sense. Perhaps a minor difference to cover local advertising or whatever plus GST, but not this 50-100% nonsense that we're currently seeing.

              Physical goods are more complex, but I'd say it's likely cheaper to land stuff in Aus from Asia (where the majority of manufacture occurs - offshoring already exists remember), than in the US. Internal freight is probably comparable, but retail is probably a little more expensive. I'm sure there are a bunch of other links that add slightly, so sure, things will be somewhat more expensive here. But there's a problem when you can import products manufactured in Asia from a US(!) retailer, pay exorbitant shipping and still come out significantly ahead.

    @Edenist - you're totally missing the point. As Spanner says "exchange rates are a furphy", and as Stomp says "the final cost of [whatever] ... [has never been] dictated by the exchange rate".

    As an example - Adobe CS6 Master collection costs USD$2599 (Full) from the Adobe North America store [http://www.adobe.com/products/catalog/software._sl_id-contentfilter_sl_catalog_sl_software_sl_creativesuitecollection.html#]

    Plug this into the Ozforex exchange rate calculator [http://www.ozforex.com.au/currency-converter/USD/AUD/2599/false] and you get AUD$2508.63

    The same software costs AUD$3949 from the Adobe Australia Store [http://www.adobe.com/au/products/catalog/software._sl_id-contentfilter_sl_catalog_sl_software_sl_mostpopular.html]

    Comparing apples to apples i.e. converting both costs into the same currency, you can easily see there's a huge price disparity which has nothign to do with exchange rates. If exchange rates WERE the 'entire argument' as you put it, we should only be paying $2508.63 instead of almost $4K

    Instead we're being charged a markup of 57.4% above this 'exchange rate based' price.

    Crazy. This is why *I* for one made a submission to the pricing enquiry - it was disappointing as hell to see not a lot of peeps did !!!

    By the same token, I went to the CS6 roadshow in Sydney. I've been a bit of a 'CS Fanboy' since it was known as Macromedia Studio and not owned by Adobe (and I've been a Photoshop fanboy ever since I switched from Photostyler many many years ago), and I'm in the minority who own a fully 'legit' copy of the suite (still on CS3 mind). But the pricing model hurts, and it always has. Suffice to say when I asked about pricing during break at the roadshow, the lovely lady manning the stand told me she couldn't address that, and that I should speak to the local AU VP of marketing ...

      My entire two posts are entirely *addressing* those points.......

      What you [and others] are asking is that YES, you want prices to be dictated by exchange rate, because you believe that it isn't justified that we are paying what we do.
      So, you say exchange rates are a furphy, yet complain that pricing isn't based off them?

      I am saying that in fact, yes, it is completely justified. That exchange rates should be totally ignored.

      I am not even arguing this point because I am convinced that the current situation is the right one. I am arguing this point because I am yet to see any argument put forward so far beyond "because I want to pay less for this product", then make comparisons with people in countries with different retail competitive structures, different economies, different social structures and hang it off the so very concrete and well defined system that is ForEx markets.

        I agree that tying prices to exchange rate is folly, but the exchange rate is still a factor in this case. To ignore it entirely means there is no continuity for Australian retailers, good sales with low exchange rates, but struggle to survive under high exchange rates.

        When it is cheaper for an Australian company to buy goods from a retailer overseas than to buy from the Australian arm of the distributor, then there is something amiss. The biggest impact is business. Where I work we buy specialist software from UK and US companies. In all cases they outsource sales in Australia to various distributors, each who adds nothing of value, there is no localisation and they have no idea how to even use it, yet the price is often double. We've begged the companies overseas to sell directly to us but they refuse, based on old distribution agreements. And we are now competing with companies in the western world who are getting the software for thousands of dollars less. By all means run an Australian arm, but to use a bad buzzword "add value", don't just monopolise it as that just leads to inflated prices. Much of what I see in games is the same problem, there is very little localisation and for some companies precious little presence in Australia, so I don't think there's a problem with the government asking why the prices are so different. Particularly given the tens of millions of dollars the government spends each year on software.

        It's all well and good for recreational stuff like games or music where you can just pick and choose what you want at the prices you're willing to pay, but the global competitiveness of Australian business is impacted upon negatively by large price disparity, one they can't choose to get around.

        Here's the thing with digital distribution though: the product was created overseas, copied and placed on an Australian digital storefront. That's pretty much it. No one in Australia had anything to do with it other than to set the price and deal with classification. What real justification is there for raising the price $40? That's the way it's always been? There were no shipping costs. No production costs. No handling costs. It wasn't modified for an Australian language version. We cannot treat digital products like physical ones. It's ludicrous, and it's just dying business models clinging to life for as long as they can. And in the end, it costs them local profit anyway which is why JB and the rest have started selling imports at cheaper prices. I have no problem paying more for a physical product (within reason) because there are extra costs involved. I do not feel entitled to crazy low prices. I just have a problem paying anything more than a slight difference for an exact digital copy of the same product as everyone else in the world.

          And by 'slight difference', I'm including price differences caused by taxation differences in the different countries however 'slight' or not that may actually turn out to be.

        The other furphy in this exchange rates conversation is the fact that the publishers are more than *willing* to use it if it's to their advantage.

        Just look at the prices of goods after the AUD crashed to about 55-60c. Everything jumped up by 30-50% on most products literally the next day. And yet even when we had stabilised to the usual 80-85c mark (even taking into account inflation) barely any products went down to pre-crash prices. It's only just started to go down because of AU's parity.

        The problem really isn't so much in the exchange but in the ability for such overseas publishers to manipulate pricing when it suits them.

    Why can I buy a cd or dvd for $20 but a game is $80 -$100

      Recording studio time to put together a music album - cheaper every year (and you can record something totally saleable in a home studio these days). Making a movie - expensive as all hell for a mainstream flick, but the money gets made back at the box office and via network syndication so the the DVD stage should largely be about 'residual profits' and not the 'main game' so you can charge less. A game though - reasonably expensive to make compared to a music album and retail IS gaming's 'box office'. But it's nowhere near as expensive as making a mainstream movie.

      So I'd peg the 'fair' price for a new release game at ... hmmm ... let's say forty bucks ? But hey, new release games in Oz have ALWAYS been around eighty bucks since I was a wee lad growing up in the 80's ... at least for PC games ... so I dunno if that's likely to change :(

    Wow, there isn't any area of business that Labor isn't willing to push around to show how big their dicks are!

    Businesses can charge what they like and you are free to not buy their product. End of story.

    Actually what I'd like to see is these (and other) global companies charging global prices. If we're trading (and living, and working) in a 'global marketplace', let's have one price for the same thing whether you buy it in Bogota or Brunswick. Forex is the raw (and simple) economic mechanism by which you work out this 'global pricing', but of course your 'base' price before the currency conversions kick in can (and should) take different economies, social structures and so on into account.

    This might actually mean we end up paying MORE for some (many ?) things, but less for others. But at least the pricing will be 'fair' and equitable, instead of Australian consumers like you and me 'subsidising' the cheaper cost of tech for the local US consumer. I don't necessarily want to pay less for the product, I want to pay a FAIR price, not a price which is subsidising the weak local US economy !

    I'm sure all the big corporates like Adobe & Microsoft have staff on hand qualified to work out a unified price they would consider 'fair' across the board in all the regions they operate in ... hell, let the CEO's do it ... it would give them something a little TOUGHER to work on for a change to justify their executive bonuses !

      There is no way that the current pricing situation is us "subsidising" the US economy. Our domestic economy is a tiny fraction of the US, what we pay makes little to no difference, particularly in a market as large as digital entertainment.

      Last edited 29/10/12 6:06 pm

        And yet we are supposed to be living in the age of "globalisation" Where the catch phrase is an open market that would be "beneficial for all" because the usual barriers of tariffs/taxes are taken down due to free trade agreements... but it's still "US" that dictates the costs?

        Sorry but thats the bigger sham IMHO.

        Yeah OK sorry, we're subsidising Adobe's (& Microsoft's, EA's, Blizzard's et al's) 'bottom line', not the US Economy as a whole. Call it my commentor's right to employ hyperbole ... :)

    I hope this includes iTunes.

    Wonder if this is actually going to have any benefit. Can't help but think it's not going to help at all. At the very least, I would love to finally get these people to admit that they're price gouging. Maybe it will convince people to shop around more and stop giving money to these companies. Unfortunately though, shopping around seems to be impossible sometimes when every choice you have is a rip off.

    Everytime I go looking to buy a song, it makes me sick when I can only get it off itunes. Every other digital distributor that supplies Australia is usually charging some silly price that is higher than that of America also.

    /Grabs Popcorn
    /Continues to Import/Use Fake US account on Amazon/Use alternate digital retailers to pay $30-$40 tops for new release AAA's as opposed to the mind boggling $80-100. My hard earned Aussie bucks are better off sitting in my wallet then some fat cat distributor's bank who is "Reluctant" to talk about the issue, thanks.

    ...and the other half that I DO pay to these overseas importers/digital retailer's are just that; going overseas...ie: NOT being injected back into the Australian economy, perhaps food for thought for the government and this Inquiry.

    I hope this extends to Microsoft bumping about 80% of their subscription prices. MSDN cost is nearly double the amount US people pay and this is all digital.

    I don't mind a small 10-20% middle finger to the Australian market but 80% hike is like a fist in my beeep.

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