Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/30/the_aiia_has_to_be_joking/

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

Sock-puppetting the case for higher prices

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Business, 30th July 2012 23:45 GMT

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:

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. ®