Feeds

AIIA takes the ‘Australian’ out of price-gouge concerns

Sock-puppetting the case for higher prices

Top three mobile application threats

As predicted by The Register, once the IT and related industries lumbered into motion to respond to the Australian Parliament’s inquiry into IT pricing in Australia, the rent-seeking would begin.

As has been amusingly pointed out by local publisher Crikey, some of the submissions read as if they were penned in imitation of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. “Microsoft might grossly overcharge Australians, but it’s consistent and predictable gross overcharging”, Crikey notes.

However, it’s the Australian Information Industry Association that I’d like to take the blowtorch to.

Note that first word in the AIIA’s name? “Australian?” That means, among other things, that it purports to represent the interests of the industry here. And it would seem, from my simplistic standpoint, that the Australian IT industry stands to gain if international vendors are shamed into at least reducing the degree to which they soak the Australian consumer.

In short: those AIIA members in the distribution / resale business get to sell more stuff (without losing their margin) if the wholesale prices are set below the level of “make these idiots bleed”; second, as buyers of kit and software from international markets, their own costs would be reduced.

The AIIA, however, doesn’t see it that way.

Its arguments include:

  • Vendors won’t sell product here if they can’t gouge – to quote the submission, “The alternative … is for suppliers to only do business in more favourable markets”. In those circumstances, I guess, Australians would be forced to source their products overseas – which, of course, retailers are already complaining about.

  • ”Business costs in Australia are between 5-10% higher than any other” - to which all El Reg will note is that consumers here are suffering 100 percent to 200 percent markups on some products.

  • ”Some members have brought to our attention the fact that they do not set the retail price of their products.” There’s a good reason for this, which the AIIA inexplicably fails to mention: price fixing is illegal. A vendor which did – which, for example, ditched a reseller for offering products at a discount – would be exposed to action from the ACCC.

  • “The practice of price discrimination is a common business strategy necessary to maximize performance” - which looks somewhat like what everyone’s complaining about.

  • “The service infrastructure to support [consumer guarantees], while possibly only incremental, are ultimately also reflected in retail costs” - because, of course, warranty support is not offered in markets such as America.

  • “Vendors have also identified training and marketing costs” - which again we must presume do not exist in other markets.

  • “Margins applied at each point and in the case of a number of our vendors, dictated by reseller partners” - apparently the supply chain in America operates without margins. Also note the blame-shifting here, which again ignores that it’s illegal for vendors to price-fix (even if you’re only telling partners what margin they can charge).

  • “Importation costs due to the distance from manufacturing countries” - which is why it’s cheaper to buy something as a single item sent by mail from America, to which it travelled from China, than to buy it in Australia? As a teacher might say, “four out of ten, must try harder”.

  • “The price of downloads will still reflect the margins required to ensure the locally based arm of the business is able to maintain its presence in that country” - in other words, suckers, even if you download your software, we’re going to bump up the margins to subsidise the bricks-and-mortar operations.

It almost seems as if the AIIA is speaking not for local IT companies, but outfits like Intel, CSC, Microsoft, EMC, Google, IBM, Avanade and Gartner – roughly half of the AIIA’s board, actually. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.