IT companies face public hearing on price rorts


The heads of all the major multi-national IT companies will face a public hearing tomorrow in Canberra as part of the Federal Government’s inquiry into IT price disparity.

Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones said the Government committee is looking into claims that Australians pay more for IT products than consumers in comparable jurisdictions.

“This public hearing will be the first time the heads of all the major multi-national IT companies have been summonsed to appear before Parliament, and frankly they’ve been dragged kicking and screaming”, said Jones.

“I’ve heard from many consumers in my electorate that they’re frustrated at the high price of IT products in Australia – in particular, digitally downloaded software, computer games, music, movies, and e-books.”

“The IT companies have thrown out a range of excuses for the price disparity, citing the comparatively small size of the Australian market, the cost of setting up support centres here and the imposition of local taxes and duties.”

 “We’ve seen that these excuses do not stand up, especially in the download market, where the costs of delivery are practically zero and uniform around the world”, said Jones.

“I hope that by shining the spotlight on this issue, the companies engaged in these rorts will be shamed into changing their practices and force prices back to where they should be.”