End Geo-blocking, Axe The Aussie Tax Choice Urges Govt
Choice has made 26 recommendations to the Government’s Competition Policy Review, saying a key principle should be that any future competition policy reform agenda must put the welfare of Australian consumers first.
In evidence to the review, it gave instances of what it said were artificially high prices Australians pay for identical goods and services compared to overseas customers, including:
– Paying 54 percent more than US consumers for the top 10 new-release movies in Apple’s iTunes store;
– Paying 33pc more than US consumers for a selection of new-release and upcoming Playstation 4 video games;
– And paying $50 a month to watch Game of Thrones on Foxtel, when a UK consumer can watch it in a subscription package costing just $9 a month.
Choice CEO Alan Kirkland said the Government’s review comes at a critical time for Australian consumers, with markets being transformed by digital technologies and competition from overseas.
But, he said: “Australians face many barriers to accessing these benefits, whether it’s outdated laws that prop up entertainment monopolies or the ‘geo-blocking’ on overseas Web sites that recognises a consumer is from Australia and either blocks them altogether or applies a specially marked up price.”
The Abbott Government announced the review in December last year. It is to publish an issues paper and a draft report, with a final report due within 12 months.