The ACCC has shown that it’s not unwilling to take on Apple when it feels Australian consumers are getting a raw deal. With the US Department Of Justice taking on Apple and numerous publishers over alleged collusive ebook pricing arrangements, will we see similar action here in Australia? It’s not entirely out of the question. Paul Smith at the Australian Financial Review writes that the ACCC is “aware” of the US legal proceedings, and was open to submissions from retailers who felt that the deal had unfairly impacted them. The article quotes an unnamed ACCC spokesperson as stating that:
“The ACCC has previously stated that impediments to emerging competition involving online traders is an area of priority. Competition concerns may arise where traders seek to restrict the discounting of products by way of restrictive arrangements with suppliers. Retailers with concerns should raise them with the ACCC.”
Given the retail focus of the ACCC’s comments — perfectly justifiable given the alleged deal was one that affected retail relations between publishers and eBook sellers — it’s not clear if any such action would lead to any kind of refunds for Australian consumers.