“Apple and Microsoft will be among technology companies asked to explain to Parliament why Australians pay much more for music and game downloads from iTunes, for example, than overseas customers,” Stephanie Peatling and Jim O’Rourke report for The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Federal Labor politicians are hoping the publicity generated by calling the companies to account for their pricing policies will result in prices dropping,” Peatling and O’Rourke report. “The Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy, has signed off on the parliamentary inquiry, which will also consider pricing of software and other IT-related material and could have big implications for businesses. ‘There is evidence to suggest that the innovative use of technology is not always matched with innovative new business models in the case of products and services distributed online,’ Mr Conroy said in a letter to Sydney MP Ed Husic.”
Peatling and O’Rourke report, “Consumer advocate Choice, which had been lobbying for an investigation of the price differential, welcomed the inquiry. The excuses overseas technology companies used to justify the higher prices, such as the small size of the market, the cost of setting up support centres and the imposition of local taxes and duties, were not acceptable, Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said. Invitations to appear will be sent to all the big computer and software companies including Apple and Microsoft.