Feeds

ACCC weighs in on IT pricing

Vendors warned: don’t fib to the public

High performance access to file storage

IT vendors, already under attack for stonewalling the Australian government’s IT pricing inquiry, have received a blunt warning from the ACCC: don’t lie about why your products are expensive in Australia.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims says the watchdog is already looking into vendors’ claims that the “Aussie tax” is due to the country’s 10 percent GST, high wages or transport costs.

It’s a move that will probably jolt the vendors far more than the parliamentary inquiry. There’s no practical way to legislate price parity across international markets – but the ACCC has considerable powers to crack down on companies that mislead the public (without needing any new legislation).

Sims told the AFR that while the usual bleating complaints from vendors might account for a 30 percent price differential, “if the price difference is 300 percent, then it’s a different matter”.

It seems the ACCC is becoming quite the activist: last week, it told the pricing inquiry that illegal downloading is a “market force” that creates competitive tension in the Australian market.

Through the Australian Information Industries Association, the vendors have already admitted that price discrimination is a strategy, stating “the practice of price discrimination is a common business strategy necessary to maximize performance” in its submission to the inquiry.

However, the AIIA is also on the public record as reaching for any-and-every possible input cost to justify vendors’ air of injured innocence.

Wiping out price discrimination is neither feasible nor desirable. To pick an example, deeply-discounted airline tickets are just another form of price discrimination (but one that works in favour of the consumer). Better information, however, puts more power in the hands of consumers – which is why the ACCC’s focus on vendors’ statements is welcome. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.