Feeds

Australian government kicks off IT price discrimination inquiry

‘Oz tax’ under scrutiny

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The infamous practice of adding a price premium to tech products imported into Australia is now under the scrutiny of a parliamentary committee, with submissions open until 6 July, 2012.

If vendors bother to respond at all – in his letter establishing the inquiry, Senator Stephen Conroy notes (PDF) that the tech sector was largely absent from last year’s Productivity Commission into the Australian retail sector – El Reg would expect a re-hash of the kinds of self-serving pseudo-economics that’s generally trotted out to justify price discrimination.

As Conroy’s letter states, price differentials have “become more noticeable with the appreciation of the Australian dollar relative to the US currency and may lead to consumers purchasing hardware or software from overseas suppliers.”

The terms of reference ask the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications to examine:

(a) Whether a difference in prices exists between IT hardware and software products, including computer games and consoles, e-books and music and videos sold in Australia over the internet or in retail outlets as compared to markets in the US, UK and economies in the Asia-Pacific

(b) Establish what those differences are

(c) Determine why those differences exist

(d) Establish what the impacts of these differences might be on Australian businesses, governments and households

(e) Determine what actions might be taken to help address any differences that operate to the disadvantage to Australian consumers

The launch of the inquiry is a win for MP Ed Husic, who has spent a year calling for government action on the issue.

Submissions can be made via the inquiry’s Website. A reporting date has not yet been set. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?