IT vendors, already under attack for stonewalling the Australian government’s IT pricing inquiry, have received a blunt warning from the ACCC: don’t lie about why your products are expensive in Australia.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims says the watchdog is already looking into vendors’ claims that the “Aussie tax” is due to the country’s 10 percent GST, high wages or transport costs.
It’s a move that will probably jolt the vendors far more than the parliamentary inquiry. There’s no practical way to legislate price parity across international markets – but the ACCC has considerable powers to crack down on companies that mislead the public (without needing any new legislation).
Sims told the AFR that while the usual bleating complaints from vendors might account for a 30 percent price differential, “if the price difference is 300 percent, then it’s a different matter”.