Here's Another Government Review That Says The Australia Tax Is Bad

A few months ago, the Government flagged it would undertake a "root-and-branch" review into Australia's competition laws. At the time, the Chair of the review said that it would use it as an opportunity to once again re-examine the nature of IT Pricing in Australia. A few months on, and the final report is out. And whaddayaknow: the Australia Tax is bad.

Interestingly, the Competition Policy Review Panel said that it wouldn't recommend that the government introduce new laws to combat the Australia Tax, or what it refers to more formally as "International Price Discrimination". Instead, it wants you to fire up your VPN, use an international mailing service and buy all your tech from overseas to dodge price gouging from big companies.

By doing so, the panel says that local firms will get the message that Aussies will vote with their wallets and order products from international vendors rather than their Australian counterparts. Market forces will then cause local vendors to drop their prices to parity with the US market.

Here's the section on "International Pricing Discrimination" (emphasis added):

The Panel favours encouraging the use of market-based mechanisms to address international price discrimination, rather than attempting to introduce a legislative solution. The Panel notes the recommendations of the July 2013 report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications into IT pricing in Australia.
That Committee recommended the removal of restrictions on parallel imports, consistent with Draft Recommendation 9 of this Draft Report. In addition, the Committee made a number of recommendations (as set out in Box 16.4) that the Panel endorses in principle as a means of encouraging a market-based, consumer driven solution to concerns about international price discrimination, as well as a number of recommendations that could form part of the overarching review of intellectual property proposed at Draft Recommendation 7.

Curiously, we're still waiting on a formal response from the Abbott Government on the existing Parliamentary Report into IT Pricing in Australia conducted under the previous Labor government. That "endorsement" of the recommendations may be the only acknowledgement and response we get.

Read the full report here.

Money image via Shutterstock


Comments

    it wants you to fire up your VPN, use an international mailing service and buy all your tech from overseas to dodge price gouging from big companiesSo... include excessive mailing costs via a dedicated reposting company, and the import tax on items above a certain price and that leaves us where now..?

    Last edited 22/09/14 5:45 pm

    This is so stupid.

    so I should buy overseas.. have it mailed to me and then the same company that is gouging me will lower its prices here..?

    No.. they would prefer to have me dial into the us and but it there.. they most likely will not need to pay as much tax there. and they can eliminate my support locally because "no one buys in Australia"

    god dammit! im totally going to Netflix though.

      think of it this way.. if this becomes law, this will mean that steam will not be able to ban your account for using a vpn to a fair price when buying through it due to the fact that our laws trump Steam Terms of Service

        Not really. It only talks about removing the restrictions on parallel imports. So I doubt it'd really be able to trump the TOS (or even how enforceable it would really be)

    [The Competition Policy Review Panel] wants you to fire up your VPN, use an international mailing service and buy all your tech from overseas to dodge price gouging from big companies.

    Except using a VPN is often either copyright infringement, or can require the use of credit fraud (ie: claiming you're American when you're not). Good job, guys. How about that legislative solution to correct the abuse of monopolies which allow for discrimination?

    Last edited 22/09/14 9:10 pm

      Isn't that great? The biggest country of pirates is encouraged to still pirate but pay and have equal risk to lawsuits

    So do something about it and stop completing pointless reviews that get us no closer to improving the situation ?

      They are doing something...they're running expensive reviews to tell us what we already know, that there's a problem. As far as politicians are concerned that's as good as solving the problem!

        Same as the reviews into piracy that conclude we overpay for everything... Still they are hellbent on implementing the 3 strikes policy they had in the works prior to said reviews.
        They really shouldn't waste their time and our money on such things

          I find it interesting that, in general, the Liberal Governments approach to running the country is to encourage competition by privatising everything and then attempting to regulate the privately owned players within a particular industry, but when it comes to online piracy there's no attempt to encourage competition, just plans to introduce legislation to stamp it out. It really drives home how much the Liberal government is willing to do to appease their Supreme Emperor, Rupert Murdoch.

            It really drives home how much the Liberal government is willing to do to appease their Supreme Emperor, Rupert Murdoch.

            Doesn't matter how many times you repeat that, a fiction will always remain a fiction.

            Murdoch has done what any business person does: he's invested in such a way no matter what government is in he will get his share.

            And for the last time, we don't have a Liberal government, we have a Coalition government. The Liberals are smaller than Labor and cannot form government on their own.

            And finally, the Coalition have (tragically) done the same thing as Labor. They have deemed it too hard and are now just running enquiries to make it look as though they are doing something.

              And for the last time, we don't have a Liberal government, we have a Coalition government/q>

              True, my apologies, Mr Internet Police Officer sir.

                If you can't make a non-personal swipe at those who counter your claims with actual facts then don't bother responding.

                  Counter my claims all you want, Internet Warrior, I couldn't care less whether you agree with me or not, but splitting hairs on specifics when you clearly knew what I was saying just makes you antagonistic, and frankly, a tool.

                  @jonboy26: I'm not antagonising anyone, that is actually a reflection of your behaviour. And that is the last I'm saying on the matter.

                  Seriously, just as how you are exercising your freedom of speech to make incorrect and misleading claims, I'm exercising my right to call you out on both the claims and your unacceptable behaviour.

                  If you can't respond without personalised swipes then keep your comments to yourself. Such behaviour is frowned upon in real life and just as much so on the Internet.

                  Last edited 23/09/14 11:25 am

      Hm, can they do something though? If the government steps in, can it still be called an open market?

      On top of that, it doesn't matter if the government steps in or not. The writing is on the wall. The market needs to read it and adapt or face dying out (I'm looking at you, Village!)

      I predict we are on the verge of a market crash like the 1983 Video Game crash. The difference being not the hyper saturation of poor products but how the delivery chain is clogged by distributors and over zealous rights holders who fail to see they are killing the very industry they are making their living from.

      I know I'm gonna be branded harsh for saying this but, the sooner the crash happens the better. It's gonna happen I just wish it would hurry up.

      Last edited 23/09/14 10:24 am

    They are hilariously out of touch, aren't they?

    I say 'hilariously' but really, I'm crying tears of lost hope...

      Not out of touch, just lazy like the last mob.

      I look at the passages and it tells me they are just gonna stand back and let something akin to survival of the fittest solve the problem for them.

      No doubt that if this happens and the market gets rebuilt into something suitable for the digital ages whoever's in change at the time will claim credit and say standing back was the right move.

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