Australia subpoenas Microsoft, Apple to explain why products cost Aussies more

By Rick · 32 replies
Feb 11, 2013
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  1. Australian parliamentary officials have launched a formal inquiry which aims to examine why many tech products cost Aussies up to 50 percent more than they do for American consumers. Reportedly, Microsoft, Apple and Adobe are among some of the companies...

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  2. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    Because they have to get them to the middle of nowhere... jeez. Oh, and can anyone say VAT?
    spydercanopus likes this.
  3. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Addict Posts: 297   +59

    Probably for the same reason kangaroo meat costs more in NYC than it does in Perth.
  4. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    They are talking not only about physically delivered goods but digitally. Something that costs US$50-60 on Steam is regularly "regionally priced" at AUD$80-100. The Australian dollar is WORTH MORE than the USD. Australia has no VAT. It has GST which is 10%.

    Where is the difference going? I'll tell you exactly where it is going... into fatcat pockets. There is absolutely no reason. We can purchase physical goods from overseas for cheaper and because of this, physical retail stores are dying. They need to sort out Australian wholesale prices quickly.
    havok585 and Wendig0 like this.
  5. They need to do it for the UK as well as we pay the same dollars to pounds which is a total rip off £400 is not $400 which these companies like microsoft, apple, amazon etc show I prefer to buy stuff and get it imported because its a LOT cheaper which is pathetic!
  6. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 781   +235

    I'll tell you the reason, greed
  7. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 855   +121

    Oz has taxes on ALL blank digital media, too. CDs, HDDs, etc... And there is no 'unlimited' bandwidth. Must really suck to live on an island of exiles.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Yeah, no worries, Canada is just north of the border eh but things cost more for us too. Fortunately digital distribution doesn't fall into that category but physical goods sure as hell do. And our currency has been on par if not above what the US dollar is worth. Theres always China who will beat any price and ship it for free anywhere in the world if your not happy buying from the States.
  9. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

  10. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Commercial companies (particularly software companies) usually roll a set cost factor in for things like support and customer service. Outlying and harder-to-reach places usually get a higher factor figured in for that part of the pricing equation. Support is an issue, warranty shipping is an issue, etc. Have to wonder if they are considering Australia a difficult support scenario?
  11. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 855   +121

    It's what I've heard from my aussie friends. Is it just prohibitively expensive for unlimited?
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Wrong. I live in SW Ontario and...

    BF3 w/Premium is the same on Origin as it is at ebgames @ $59.99.
    Crysis 3 Hunter Edition is also the same price @ $59.99

    You would think the physical copy would cost more because of the packaging, shipping, the manual, the disc and the burning.
  13. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    As someone who lives in Australia, this stuff drives me insane. This place is 20 years behind, it's not funny at all.

    An explanation as to the priced on games (digital included) that I've heard: back when $1AUD = $0.50USD the prices for games were $100 in Aus and $50-60 in US. Now that everyone is used to paying such premiums, the prices have stayed regardless of the exchange rate.

    It is such B.S. The Jeep car company (along with Chev, etc) didn't drop prices at all to match exchange rate. Neither did petrol companies. Everything just goes up.

    As for the internet bandwidth - true unlimited does exist, but it is in short supply, expensive, business only at times, and limited to metro only. Oh, if you live in a non-capital city, that's $10/mth extra on your Internet bill, thanks.
    LukeDJ likes this.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Should of specified as none tech goods, most electronics are actually not that far off the price in the States. Games are forced to be the same price both physical and digital if not the retail stores would just stop selling games. Where would be the incentive to go out to ebgames and paid $5 or $10 more just for a box, it's almost like the way console games are usually around $60 vs pc games are $50. And yes you would think there would be a price difference because physical material cost money vs bandwidth which is practically free. A better way to look at it is why do we not get a discount for NOT getting the box with all its contents.
  15. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Things cost as much as they do because that's how much people will pay for them. I'm pretty sure that Steam games cost way less in Russia because that's the price point where buying becomes preferable to pirating.

    So Australia's answer is obviously piracy. Hit up those iPad shipments coming out of China too!
  16. I am also an angry Australian customer. I goto steam and the brand new game says $50 to buy. I goto buy it, steam detects I'm from Australia. The same game is now $90. 1 usd = 1 aussie dollar aprox. I than goto another website and buy it for 40 usd and play the game for more than half aussie retail price. It's cheaper for me to buy it from the uk have it express shipped to my door and usually pay half the price of retail particularly for console games.
  17. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    I pay AUD$50 a month for unlimited albeit on ADSL2+. About 8-10mbit/s. I might add that is on a Telstra DSLAM service (I.e. the most expensive provider). If I lived elsewhere I'd be able to get it cheaper.
  18. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    It's pretty simple... we can use drop shipping from other countries and overseas proxies for physical and digital purchases respectively. I really don't care if retail dies here because if they are price gouging, I'm not going to support the local market.
  19. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +456

    It's because they are still going by the 2008-2009 exchange rate and don't want to hastily change it in case the US dollar gets stronger again. Also, the Canadian dollar is often right around the US dollar in value but only rarely higher in value - since 2008-2009 also when the US dollar was very strong.
  20. fullmetalvegan

    fullmetalvegan TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    That's completely incorrect, it's cheaper for me to order a product from the USA/Korea and have it shipped to me - than to actually go into a store and buy it. I can save hundreds of dollars by simply ordering it myself from a non-Australian distributor. So you're telling me that Apple has to pay an extra $200 for shipping per item, but a regular customer can have it shipped for $30? There's also an incredible amount of shipping costs involved in sending me a digital download too, I can see why that's costing me $50 more too. Uh huh... -_-"
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  21. How is this "they"?

  22. Rasta211

    Rasta211 TS Booster Posts: 215   +32

    Sorry to hear Australians are getting price gouged. I hope you guys get the answers your looking for.
  23. Chaosbird

    Chaosbird TS Rookie

    So, Australians pay 119 AUS? Guess what, in Denmark Office 365 Home Premium costs 800 kr., thats roughly 143 USD :). Don't even wanna know what an iPad at 500 USD would cost us, but probably something like 650-800 USD.
  24. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TS Maniac Posts: 350   +112

    This is truly a major problem. Whenever companies are asked about why the prices are so ridiculous, they just throw out the same lame excuses. Shipping costs, exchange rate, all B.S.

    The fact that it is cheaper for me to buy a game from the UK and have it shipped over than it is for me to go down to my local game dealer (or get it off steam, in the case of new games) is just plain wrong.
  25. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah it's a sad state of affairs for us all in the southern hemisphere and no matter what BS reason is given for high prices, the bottom line is greed. Look on the bright side, southern hemisphere weather is a lot better than the northern hemisphere and they can't take that away from us.

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