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Some of your discussion should cover business strategy. (These topics covered in section 1.2 of the textbook.) How is it affecting Australian consumers and businesses? What is being done about it? By whom? Can products be sourced elsewhere? What are the benefits? What are the costs?
______*********************************************************************_______ Price Gouging: The Phenomenon of sharply rising prices of items in high demand. Triggered when the country suffers or threatened by a natural disaster.
Price-gouging is often defined in terms of three criteria listed below:
1. Period of Emergency: The majority of laws apply only to price shifts during a time of disaster. 2. Necessary items: Most laws apply exclusively to items which are essential to survival. 3. Price ceilings: Laws limit the maximum price that can be charged for given goods.
Price Gouging Laws: A price deemed unfairly high, An emergency or difficult situation, and A product or service useful in responding to the emergency Comparison Between Apple, Adobe and Microsoft.
APPLE, Adobe and Microsoft have been summonsed to appear before a parliamentary inquiry examining price gouging of Australian consumers. Summonses have been issued for the three companies to appear at a public hearing in Canberra on 22 March, the House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications said in a statement today. The Committee is examining the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products. It said Australian consumers often paid much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries. MP Ed Husic, who has been campaigning for the companies to give their side of the story on price discrepancies, said he welcomed the committee's move to compel the tech companies to appear.
The three companies have not volunteered to provide evidence in a public forum, but had been willing to provide it either in camera or as part of a broader submission by an industry-wide representative group. "This (summonses) is an important move – but one we shouldn’t have to take," Mr Husic said. "These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches. "In what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being called by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US. "Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry. "While television and computer prices fell 14 per cent according the to the latest Consumer Price Index Figures, there’s still a long way to go – with some estimates suggesting that Australian prices are up to 60 per cent higher than the US. "Given the widespread use of IT across businesses and the community, the prices paid for hardware and software can have a major commercial and economic impact. "Getting downward movement on IT prices and easing the bite of price discrimination should be an important micro-economic priority – so I’m looking forward to hearing from these firms about their pricing approaches." The Australian is seeking comment from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe on the development. An Apple Australian spokeswoman said the company would not comment at this stage. An Adobe Australia spokeswoman confirmed that the company had received a summons from the committee. "Adobe will cooperate with the committee as we have done since the Inquiry began," the spokeswoman said. Australian consumer group Choice today welcomed the summonses. Choice said the parliamentary inquiry had been hampered by stonewalling from Apple, Adobe and Microsoft. It said it had provided evidence showing Australians paid around 50 per cent more than US consumers for identical music, software, games and hardware. "We welcome the move by the Committee to force these companies to front the Australian public and explain why they think it is okay to charge Australians more," Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland said. "Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off. We believe it’s time that these companies realise this and start pricing fairly in the Australian market." Last year The Australian Industry Group, representing 6000 businesses, told the inquiry product pricing was a matter for the market and general competition and consumer law. It said governments could relieve pricing pressure by monitoring the cost of doing business in Australia, including the cumulative regulatory burden on business, and taxation levels.
When the price is not right: technology price gouging in Australia Apple Inc. has often portrayed itself as the champion of consumers, with its advertising campaigns on “1984”, “Think Different”, and “Rip, Mix, Burn”. However, this reputation has been called into question after Apple refused to appear before the Parliament’s inquiry into IT Pricing in Australia and explain its pricing policies in Australia. Apple is not alone. Adobe, Amazon.com, Nintendo, Lenovo, and others have come under criticism for price discrimination in Australia. Furthermore, there has been a concern that information technology companies have engaged in a deliberate strategy of stonewalling the Australian Parliament. CHOICE Australia has provided compelling evidence to the inquiry that Australian consumers suffer from significant and unjustified price discrimination – particularly in respect of music downloads from iTunes, PC games, console games and computer software. For instance, Apple has been selling AC/DC’s complete collection on iTunes for $229.99 in Australia – but only $149 in the United States. Given the evidence presented to the inquiry, there is a need for a range of legislative and regulatory changes to help stop unjustified price discrimination against Australia consumers of digital products. In particular, there is a need for reforms to copyright law and disability law, as well as action under Australian consumer law and competition law.
Tech companies asked to explain price gouging
Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have been summoned to appear before a committee hearing as part of a major inquiry into price gouging by tech companies. The House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has been looking at the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products, including computers, software, games and digital music. “Australian consumers often pay much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries,” the Committee said in a statement. Claims about price gouging of Australian consumers were made by organisations such as Choice and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. Choice has welcomed the move by the parliamentary committee. “Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off. We believe it’s time that these companies realise this and start pricing fairly in the Australian market,” said Choice CEO Alan Kirland. Choice’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry last year found Australians have been paying on average 34 per cent more for software, 52 per cent more for iTunes music, 88 per cent more for Wii games and 41 per cent more for computer hardware than US consumers. An Adobe spokesperson confirmed with TT the company received a summons from the Committee. “Adobe will cooperate with the Committee as we have done since the Inquiry began,” the spokesperson said. TT also contacted Apple but the company refused to comment at this stage.
The results of a long-awaited parliamentary report concerning the price gouging of technology consumers inAustralia revealed recommendations of lifting of parallel import restrictions, ban on geo-blocking which stop Aussies from buying tech goods overseas and the official monitoring of prices for IT goods. Smartphones, tablets, computers, software and gaming devices were apparently overprices in the Australian market.
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The tech goods pricing inquiry was conducted by a committee in House of Representatives. The committee was tasked to investigate the alleged “rip-off prices” that Australian consumers pay for Apple’s iPhones, iPads, other smartphones, computers, notebooks, software and gaming devices.
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The Parliamentary committee also discovered that Australians pay an average of 50 to 100 per cent more than the average American consumer. The committee has strongly suggested a repeal of a section of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The tech goods pricing inquiry was conducted by a committee in House of Representatives. The committee was tasked to investigate the alleged "rip-off prices " that Australian consumers pay for Apple's iPhones, iPads, other smartphones, computers, notebooks, software and gaming devices.
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