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REVEALED: How OZ Gets Screwed On IT Prices

Thats according to Labor MP Ed Husic who’s calling on the government to investigate why Aussies are getting screwed over on software RRPs, claiming we are charged up to 80% more than US or UK consumers.

Mr Husic said small businesses were also paying exorbitant fees for software licence upgrades and an inquiry would exert pressure on the likes of Adobe, Microsoft and Co to open up about their pricing policies in Australia.

Chifley MP Husic says the IT issue was triggered by constituents and says “since I raised it people have been telling me to keep pushing it.”

“Australian consumers are often paying up to 80 per cent more for these products, compared to what is charged to US or UK customers for exactly the same products,” Husic told The Telegraph.

The MP wrote to Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy’s office last month about the matter. Senator Conroy’s office told SmartHouse it responded to Husic’s letter on April 10, but refused to divulge the nature of its response, saying it was a private communication between the office and Mr Husic.

But it looks like the MP is right.

Take Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 – to buy here in Oz will set you back A$209, while the same product in the States cost just $149 – that a massive $60 difference.

And the basic MS Office Home and Business pack costs A$279, while in the US is $80 cheaper at just $199. And its not just Microsoft, they’re all at it says Telsyte analyst Sam Yip, who agrees we are being overcharged on technology – but not just on software.

“Generally, the sentiment is that Australians are overcharged on everything from softwre right through to hardware,” he says.

Resellers and developers are being “opportunistic” as they realise Aussies will pay higher prices, despite the cost of delivery of digital product being similar around the globe.

But not for much longer – Yip predicts prices of technology will fall over the next 24 month, saying the price drop will be a “natural progression” for retailers in a bid to stay competitive in an online world.

Discount sites popping up online are driving this price deflation, he added, saying recent research on 18 categories of goods sold online indicated discounts were introduced in all categories examined.

However, the price discrepancies “will be milked for what its worth for the time being,” Yip warns.

And this is not the first time Husic has declared war on technology companies.

Last year the Labor MP wrote to Apple demanding answers on price discrepancies and claimed Australians are being “ripped off” on the prices of iPhone, iPad and other cult Apple items and says he has yet to get a reply for Apple’s Aussie boss Tony King.