Labor MP calls for inquiry into high Aussie tech prices

Ed Husic has requested a parliamentary inquiry into IT price discrimination; the MP believes it is "unfair" for Australian consumers to pay more for tech products, including games.

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Labor MP and federal member for Chifley Ed Husic has called for a parliamentary inquiry into high product prices in the Australian IT and technology sector.

Ed Husic MP

Speaking in parliament last month, Husic singled out companies like Adobe, Apple, Canon, Lenovo, and Microsoft for failing to address consumer demands and inquiries about the high cost of both hardware and software in Australia compared to other territories.

The high cost of video games in Australia has long been a concern for gamers locally.

"From my perspective, the most commonsense approach would have been for the companies to set out in their own terms why they price their products in Australia differently from other parts of the world," Husic told parliament. "Instead of doing that, IT vendors have not only remained mute, they keep aggravating Australian consumers. IT vendors are demonstrating they will price differently here, because we will cop it or they think we will keep quiet about it."

Husic's request for a parliamentary inquiry into IT price discrimination in Australia also stressed that the proposed inquiry should look into what the Australian law could do to deal with the issue should IT vendors fail to respond.

The MP also pointed to the issue of fairness, saying that while he believes companies should be able to recover costs for getting products to market, charging consumers "up to 80 per cent more in one country compared to another without good reason" is unjust.

"Since IT vendors have been so dismissive of consumers, businesses, and government, it is now time to press for these answers. The time for the answers is right now, instead of having vendors hide behind convenient excuses, such as the varying exchange rates."

Husic will now discuss the possibility of a parliamentary inquiry into IT price discrimination in Australia with the federal minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

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