Australians are paying more for games and hardware than pc gamers elsewhere. A study carried out by the consumer group Choice of over 200 prices found that they pay approximately 50 per cent more than US consumers for identical products. Addressing a parliamentary committee looking into IT pricing, Choice have said that big global brands are responsible for price discrimination in Australia as they set wholesale prices.
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) refutes that global brands are to blame, claiming retailers and distributors are at least partly responsible for the higher prices. The AIIA represents hundreds of technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Dell.
AIIA chief executive Suzanne Campbell dismissed the Choice study, insisting there were numerous factors that needed to be taken into account, including "supply chain and channel costs". She also claimed doing business in Australia was more expensive.
Labor MP and committee member Ed Husic said that these factors were a "convenient excuse" and could not account for the price differences. He also accused tech companies of using retailers as "bureaucratic cover" while charging "whatever they want here because of the lack of purchasing power that exists in Australia compared with a market such as the US."
Russell Zimmerman, head of the Australian Retailers Association, said that while wages, rents, regulation and exchange rates did impact prices, some were "artificially set high because it is Australia."