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Wednesday, 18 July 2012 10:09

Aussies revolt against download charges

Written by Nick Farrell


 
Prices not fair dinkum


Australians are getting miffed at having to pay 50 per cent more than American shoppers for downloaded music and games.

Consumer watchdog Choice told a  parliamentary inquiry into IT Pricing, Choice says Australians being ripped off by copyright holders. The group found price differences across a range of IT products including iTunes downloads, PC games, personal and business software, Wii console games and computer hardware.

Choice head of campaigns, Matt Levey said that in Australia you pay, on average, 52 per cent more than an American consumer will for the same 50 top iTunes songs. A selection of 44 popular home and business software products were, on average, 34 per cent more expensive in Australia than the US. One Microsoft software development product that was more than $8,500 cheaper in the US and it would be cheaper to pay someone's wage and fly them to the US and back twice, getting them to buy the software while they're there. International copyright owners were discriminating against Australian consumers by charging unjustifiably higher prices.

Retailers and IT manufacturers argue that local factors, like wages, rent and transportation, account for higher IT product prices. But the products are largely identical, regardless of where you buy them. In some cases, such as iTunes downloads, there are practically no overheads in delivering the product to Australian consumers, Levey told the inquiry.

Nick Farrell

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