IT price hike inquiry will approach record labels


blog How seriously can we take Apple Australia managing director Anthony King’s claim that Apple doesn’t have anything to do with setting digital content prices in Australia through the company’s iTunes store? I guess we’re about to find out. Computerworld reports (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the Federal Parliament’s IT price hike inquiry will now target record labels to see what they think of the situation:

Labor MP Ed Husic [pictured], a member of the committee and a driving force behind the establishment of the inquiry, said the committee will talk to record labels “mainly on the issue of music and the [price] disparity on music downloads.”

Personally, judging by their track record when it comes to the piracy issue, I don’t expect to hear much truth from the record labels regarding their Australian pricing habits, and I would even expect the labels to either initially decline to attend the IT price hike inquiry talks or to simply put the blame back on Apple for the situation. When it comes to the big business monetisation of art and entertainment, history has shown us that these big companies don’t have many scruples.

Image credit: Office of Ed Husic


  1. I called it, i def called it!! I wasn’t the only one i guess, but my comment in the Apple one showed i also called it :)

    I like that they are going down this path, but not only that, according to the computerworld article on it, Husic was also quoted as saying

    “There are other things we need to follow up too. In particular whether or not copyright is being used to protect intellectual property or profit margins,” Husic said.

    One of the many things they are looking at is geo-blocking itself which is good, and they are going to talk to the digital alliance on the issues of copyright.

    Hopefully what comes out of all this is a fairer system for us aussies and access to the content when and how we want.

  2. Geo-blocking isn’t going to go away because of these hearings, even the ABC uses geo-blocking on its website if you go outside Australia.

  3. I can see the studios now.. If only the government would clamp down on illegal downloading, then local content would be cheaper :P

    Probably the best thing the govt can do is leave illegal downloading alone. It’s about the only thing putting downward pressure on prices, but really I don’t get why government should regulate content prices as if Season 3 of Game of Thrones were an essential commodity like electricity.

    • The reason why the government should intervene is that the international corporation constantly press for free access to markets while at the same time restricting customer access to international markets. The activities they carry out overseas to restrict that access would be a breach of our competition laws if carried out in Australia. They want to import laws from the US in Australia to protect their products we should be exporting laws to the US to protect our consumers. The irony of US(the champion of the free market) companies artificially restricting the free market.

  4. Where are the calls from the enquiry for detailed cost and pricing data from Express Online/Express Data, Ingram Micro and Synnex? Without details from the major distributors this whole process is a shot in the dark.

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