The Parliamentary Inquiry into the high prices of IT hardware, software and computer games has some damning things to say.
It'll take time to wade through the whole 12 month, 150 page report, but here are the highlights and recommendations at a glance...
- The high cost of IT software (including games) in Australia isn't commensurate with the cost of doing business here.
- Consumers are 'perplexed, frustrated and angered' by the 50-100% markup on some products from their overseas prices.
- The committee assigned to the Inquiry recommends several measures to relax competition with grey import markets and stop geo-blocking.
- The current pricing is deemed harmful to local businesses, universities, and individuals, particularly those with disabilities, and increased access and participation is needed.
- A 'comprehensive program' to monitor the size of the online market is recommended.
- The restrictions on parallel importing in the Copyright Act 1968 and Trade Marks Act 1995 be lifted with an aim to broaden the importation of 'genuine goods'.
Whether parliament will look to enact any of these or other recommendations from the report remains to be seen, but it's worth digesting in full anyway.
Read the full report here, and stay tuned for more as we look closer at the details of each recommendation.