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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
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?