A long time ago in a government far, far away, there was a man who wanted Aussies to pay less for their gadgets. His name was Ed Husic, and together with some of his Parliamentary buddies, they got together to take the fight to big tech companies to stop them gouging Aussies. That’s the story in a nutshell of the IT Pricing Inquiry, the recommendations of which have been swept under the political rug…until now.
For those out of the loop, the IT Pricing Inquiry spearheaded by Nick Champion MP and Ed Husic MP made several recommendations about how to kill the so-called “Australia Tax” dead. The recommendations included a sweeping education plan about geoblocks and how Aussies could get around them, as well as a comprehensive reporting program on how much gadgets and tech cost in Australia compared to other countries. You can read the full recommendations in our breakdown here.
The IT Pricing Inquiry, while noble in its mission, fell victim to the timeframe of politics. The report was submitted to the last Labor government for consideration towards the end of its term. The election saw the Parliament suspended from making new laws before the eventual rise of the Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
It had been thought that the Inquiry was conducted in vain until today, when the head of the Government’s “root-and-branch” review into competition signalled that IT Pricing would be in its scope.
The issues paper for the new competition inquiry asks how the government could regulate the market to ensure that tech and gadgets carry fairer prices.
Economist Ian Harper is running the review, and we’ll be watching it carefully as it plays out.
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