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Push to end technology price gouge

James Hutchinson (via AFR) | July 30, 2013
Australians should be allowed to buy movies, music and computers over the internet at the same cheap prices as people overseas, a federal government inquiry urged on Monday.

"We don't have a control over prices and we wouldn't seek to control company prices," he said. "This area has a big flow-on effect to the rest of the economy and if we're paying higher prices to the rest of the world that's obviously going to get translated into higher prices overall and fewer efficiencies."

A spokesman for Kate Lundy, Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, said the government would consider the recommendations.

But Queensland University of Technology lecturer Nic Suzor said it would be politically difficult to implement some of the recommended changes to geoblocks, particularly for services that do not already sell to Australians.

"This report shows there's a huge demand for legitimate content in Australia but also that Australians don't want to be ripped off," he said. "We really need to invite the content industry to have a much more frank discussion as to what's in their best interests."

Australian National University associate professor Matthew Rimmer said it would take "quite a concerted effort" to equalise technology pricing between Australia and the US regardless of the proposed law changes.

 

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