IT Pricing Inquiry Wants To Hear From You

IT Pricing Inquiry Wants To Hear From You

The much-discussed inquiry into price gouging for tech goods in Australia is accepting submissions from the public from today. Consumers can make their feelings known until July 6, although as Alex at Gizmodo points out, the bigger issue is how businesses seek to explain the already-very-evident price differences. [Inquiry into IT Pricing via Gizmodo]


  • I can’t see this going anywhere… different prices between cities/states is one thing, but pricing differently for entirely different markets, in a different currency, in completely different geographical locations… I can’t see how anyone is going to end up in trouble.

    If you don’t like it, vote with your wallet and don’t buy from companies that you feel are ‘price gouging’. Take Apple as a prime example – every man, woman and canine is still buying their products in droves, so their pricing can’t be that unreasonable.

    • The issue is more to do with say, Adobe, who charge an incredibly high price for a product in Australia compared to an identical product in the US. Unlike Apple, they can’t use the generic “shipping and frieght is more expensive to Australia” excuse as you can buy their software as a download from their website. Even taking into account GST at 10%, they still charge a huge premium in Australia.
      This inquiry (which I assume the ACCC will be involved in) is targeting companies such as Adobe for their inconsistent pricing. Adobe is also aware that there really isn’t any complete substitute good for their products either; Photoshop and Illustrator are the norm in the corporate and design world, and they are completely aware that they can charge what they want in Australia and get away with it.

      • Unless the ACCC plans to write some competitive software, there’s not much that they can do. It’ll be a case of “we’ll run our business the way we want to – get stuffed!”

        • Hahah that is one option, but I think in reality the ACCC will try and introduce a price ceiling on these kinds of products. A price ceiling wouldn’t stop Adobe from selling their products in Australia (they would still be making a profit from selling their software here, even with a price ceiling, and they would be stupid to leave a market all together because their profits have been reduced somewhat).

          • A price ceiling? nah – they’ll make a lot of noise, have several inquiries, and Adobe will do what ever they want anyway.

  • What about products that are cheaper here? Will their prices go up? I don’t think so

    If you don’t want to pay the price, just don’t buy it. I’m sick of the whining and moaning about how bad we have it here in Australia.

    The fact is most people have no idea what it means for a company to set up a business in another country and the associated costs of running that business. The ACCC should examine these factors FIRST, and begin with an assumption of innocence (I would think, a common courtesy) so far as the businesses involved may have to charge more.

    Will the ACCC be looking into the fact that bread and milk cost more in service stations than supermarkets? Will the ACCC be investigating why one retail outlet charges more on an item than another? Let me help you with the answer, NO. That’s stupid.

    Consumers (sheeple) need to stop with the sense of entitlement. They need to be told, ‘you are a customer, a consumer, your only power is to purchase or not to purchase. You may ask for a different price, but you may also be refused. If the cheapest way to buy something is to buy it from overseas, then do that. If you’re at a disadvantage in terms of time, service or warranty, then make your choice accordingly. Now buy something or get out.’

    • Well said Kendal, although I do believe some companies are gouging such as Adobe in our market others such as hardware products and imported goods it’s not as clean cut… Also Australia has some of the highest business running costs (wages, taxes and the complexity is high and a much lower market size on top of that also does not help get us good prices).

      I understand the argument of talk with your money, buy overseas (which I’m’ guilty of as well), the issue with this is when we start loosing more and more local jobs due to local companies not being able to survive but unions persistently demanding higher wages don’t complain and be prepared to also follow the money have you spend overseas as you might need to find a job there some time in the future when jobs locally are not as freely available.

  • So over the retail apologists. FACT: “Employment costs” in Australia are on par with UK & US. FACT: productivity in Australia is lower than UK & US. Employers need to get their houses in order before you start to bleat about people losing their 10 a penny retail jobs. Don’t take my word for it. Read the productivity commission report. Educate yourself and stop regurgitating old wives tales.

  • Nowadays it is easy to find out what the prices for items are all over the world. People just don’t want to feel like they are being ripped off. The same way GST is separate on an invoice, if price for an item is higher due to special taxes/fees to help the local industry (I believe the Australian Recording Industry imposes such a fee on Apple for iTunes sales), that tax should be shown on the invoice.
    Informed consumers make better decisions and if they see how the extra is helping locally then they will be more inclined to pay it.
    I agree with comment above that if the problem has to do with productivity and bad business practices, then these businesses should be allowed to fail in order to make room for better suited companies.

  • It’s not only the software that has the price differences. I have been looking to get a new computer recently and that’s how I came across this issue.
    One of the best examples I found is with the Alienware M18x gaming laptop.
    On the US Dell/Alienware website, the base price for the new Alienware M18x is $1,999US (
    However, on the Australian Dell/Alienware website, the base price for the exact same laptop is $3,299AUS
    Perhaps I could understand a slight price difference of maybe a couple of hundred dollars, but $1300?
    It is actually cheaper to purchase a computer from a US website and have it shipped to Australia than it is to buy them from here.
    I might be naive, but that to me seems to be totally unreasonable.

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