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Australian government to question game publishers over high download prices
Australian government to question game publishers over high download prices
April 30, 2012 | By Mike Rose

April 30, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Newsbrief: A number of software companies, including video game publishers, will be asked to explain to the Australian Parliament why downloads of music and games cost much more in Australia than compared to overseas.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reports that Apple and Microsoft are among the companies who are being invited to explain their Australian pricing. The country's Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy is leading the parliamentary inquiry, which is also looking into high pricing of technology-related products.

The inquiry will begin later this year, and will be conducted by the House of Representatives standing committee on infrastructure and communications. Sydney MP Ed Husic noted, "People here scratch their heads trying to work out why they get fleeced on software downloads."

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Robert Green
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As a New Zealander, my first reaction was to welcome this, as we have it pretty much the same.
But my second reaction is that digital entertainment products are a luxury item with a completely arbitrary cost. There is no 'correct' price, and there's no need for a provider to find an 'excuse' to charge more in one country than another.
Then my third reaction was that anyone taking into account any modern behavioural economics knows that my second reaction doesn't really matter.

So my fourth reaction is that there's a great challenge facing digital marketplaces, who need to simultaneously recognise that different countries have [often substantially] different economics, and that we're now selling digital products to an international audience that wants to be treated equally.

Craig Page
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Downloads cost more in Australia because of shipping costs, the internet can only go so far by wire, and then it has to travel by boat, and then by packs of dolphins, and then to Al Gore who memorizes a few billion packets at a time, and finally to the Australian internet wires.