Australian parliament probes technology price

Aus/NZ General Discussion
This might belong on the activition/blizzard investor page if so please direct me to it.

Will Blizzard be keeping an eye on the Australian Government probe into the price difference charged to Australian and American customers of digital download I.P.? or better yet will it be making a submission to the inquiry itself?

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/parliament-probes-technology-price-gouge-20120428-1xrl2.html

Above is a link to a Sydney newspaper story covering the re-announcement of the probe.

* edit* There is no question of racism here, i have no doubt blizzard did not charge more on the basis of we fing hate those drunken aussies let's charge them more for their games and then they all share an evil laugh.
Aussies and Kiwi's are always getting fleeced when it comes to games/software. Even d3 costs more for us. why? gone are the days companies can blame it on overseas taxes and distribution in this digital age - the reason is simple. because the companies have always charged more for these products and don't see a reason not to continue doing it for extra profit. it is about time we had a ethical debate on this nonsense and brought some changes in to ensure this type of racist/unethical behavior is completely removed from the net.
Anyone get an actual reason on why we have to pay more?

Anyone get an actual reason why we don't have our own server?

You can't really call them racists unless they fail to answer these questions logically.
Bout time Senator Conroy did something constructive. Will be interesting to follow this
i didnt call them racists. i called their behaviour racist/unethical - there is a difference.

its pretty simple to understand why they are doing it tho. the prices we pay 'in-store' are 'x' so they put it at the same price so as not to undercut them (? whether blizzard has some sort of agreement about fair trading in this regard) and at the same time make a tidy profit. That being said - i don't feel that this argument has any strength and is being used as an excuse to make more $$ on a game at the expense of its customers.
If you charge a man double the price for a potato and he willingly pays it, would you sacrifice that raw profit unless you were forced to?
I have nothing against Gaming companies charging us more, its simply good business.

However, I do blame the government for simply overlooking all issues when it comes to the gaming industry, they should have enforced some sort of legislation to drive down game prices to be somewhat like the rest of the world.

Its similar to the R18+ debate, and Safeway/Coles monopoly of the entire Retail sector.
We as a country are decades behind the rest of the world. And the current administration is further pushing us back.

I hope something comes from this. Though I doubt it will.
i didnt call them racists. i called their behaviour racist/unethical - there is a difference.

its pretty simple to understand why they are doing it tho. the prices we pay 'in-store' are 'x' so they put it at the same price so as not to undercut them (? whether blizzard has some sort of agreement about fair trading in this regard) and at the same time make a tidy profit. That being said - i don't feel that this argument has any strength and is being used as an excuse to make more $$ on a game at the expense of its customers.


Sorry that was me calling something that digs a shovel.

04/28/2012 06:11 PMPosted by Hitman
to ensure this type of racist/unethical behavior is completely removed from the net.


I meant you can't call blizzards price increase or lack of server a racist act unless they cannot explain them.

04/28/2012 06:43 PMPosted by Raven
If you charge a man double the price for a potato and he willingly pays it


Agreed so why are they only doing this to our version of the game?
In no way could this be construed as racist, that's a complete misuse of the term.

While I hate it myself, I can understand it from a business perspective - in the past it made sense (due to increased costs for physical copies, but mostly due to the exchange rate), but now with the exchange rate going from 2:1 to 1:1 in a relatively short time they have a choice - A: do the right thing by their customers and equalise the costs, or B: do the right thing by their shareholders and maintain the old prices for maximum profit. I understand why they choose B, but I certainly don't like it.

Its the same with a number of products like card games & miniature games, we normally pay +70% to +100%. Some manufacturers have even gone to lengths to stop Australians ordering from other countries, which was a way of getting around the price hike.
sigh about racism comments... there's a variety of different definitions for racism and i chose that word because it best fits. this is one definition:

"a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination."

i believe that sums it up EXACTLY. enough with these stupid comments that its too harsh a word.
04/28/2012 06:57 PMPosted by Fueghan
While I hate it myself, I can understand it from a business perspective - in the past it made sense (due to increased costs for physical copies, but mostly due to the exchange rate), but now with the exchange rate going from 2:1 to 1:1 in a relatively short time they have a choice - A: do the right thing by their customers and equalise the costs, or B: do the right thing by their shareholders and maintain the old prices for maximum profit. I understand why they choose B, but I certainly don't like it.


That's a complete misunderstanding of the exchange system.
E.G using your strange 2:1 / 1:1 system...
Before:
We pay A200 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.

Now:
We pay A100 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.

What they are actually doing is increasing profits!
Before:
We pay A200 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.
Now:
We pay A150 dollars. Blizzard gets 150 US dollars.

Agreed so why are they only doing this to our version of the game?


Picking out pieces of an argument shows me that you can't comprehend sentences, don't do it, its unbecoming.

They are doing it because they can make a nice profit and have no restriction at all. There is no one, aside from the consumer - who buys the game anyway - who complains.
Picking out pieces of an argument shows me that you can't comprehend sentences, don't do it, its unbecoming.

They are doing it because they can make a nice profit and have no restriction at all. There is no one, aside from the consumer - who buys the game anyway - who complains.


I would argue that Blizzard could charge people in the US more and they would still pay it as well?

... So in your opinion Blizzard is charging AU more, because we will pay it?
I would love to see a company such a Blizzard take the first steps and actually admit what they are charging us is unfair - and maybe compensate us by giving us in-game credit or something similar. <--- this sort of thing would be most welcomed and i'm sure that all Australasian's would be amiable to it. The battle for price hiking could continue on a legal type front, while Blizzard would look good by showing it cares about those customers who are being discriminated against based solely on where they live.
Picking out pieces of an argument shows me that you can't comprehend sentences, don't do it, its unbecoming.

They are doing it because they can make a nice profit and have no restriction at all. There is no one, aside from the consumer - who buys the game anyway - who complains.


I would argue that Blizzard could charge people in the US more and they would still pay it as well?

... So in your opinion Blizzard is charging AU more, because we will pay it?


Yes, among others things. Such as no group fighting to lower prices on our behalf.
We have always been charged extra for games, by everyone - Not just blizzard.
Conkers bad fur day on N64 jumps to my mind.

In the Americas, they have groups of people jumping up and down over this kind of thing. No one does that here.
I'd be surprised if anything is done about it.

Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and all others will basically be reading from scripts and providing mechanical answers all designed to skip around the real reason why we get ripped off.

If the inquiries into petrol pricing is anything to go by...
I'd be surprised if anything is done about it.

Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and all others will basically be reading from scripts and providing mechanical answers all designed to skip around the real reason why we get ripped off.

If the inquiries into petrol pricing is anything to go by...


Ha. I laughed so hard when the ACCC came out and said "Petrol prices DO NOT go up before/during public or school holidays."

The majority of Australians must be so brainwashed to believe that crap.
This might belong on the activition/blizzard investor page if so please direct me to it.

Will Blizzard be keeping an eye on the Australian Government probe into the price difference charged to Australian and American customers of digital download I.P.? or better yet will it be making a submission to the inquiry itself?

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/parliament-probes-technology-price-gouge-20120428-1xrl2.html

Above is a link to a Sydney newspaper story covering the re-announcement of the probe.

* edit* There is no question of racism here, i have no doubt blizzard did not charge more on the basis of we fing hate those drunken aussies let's charge them more for their games and then they all share an evil laugh.


Why would you prompt about them making a submission? The only submission I could imagine them sending because activision-blizzard is blizzards distributor, is lets maintain the status quo because to promote lowering the digital price means less money and risks the current distribution model here as it creates impossible competition for the retailers which have overheads above the US stores, and will result in significantly reduced physical presence. That's why there's price parity.

Personally I'm all for a review, I used to think that getting equivalent prices was the fair thing, but I wasn't looking at it from the stores point of view, and when looking into it and seeing what online retail is doing to physical stores, I think its not about them being unfair but the fact we're looking at economies of scale.
I'd be surprised if anything is done about it.

Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and all others will basically be reading from scripts and providing mechanical answers all designed to skip around the real reason why we get ripped off.

If the inquiries into petrol pricing is anything to go by...


Ha. I laughed so hard when the ACCC came out and said "Petrol prices DO NOT go up before/during public or school holidays."

The majority of Australians must be so brainwashed to believe that crap.


The ACCC is beyond useless.
All I can say is, hell, it's about time.

Seriously - over the years, various companies have used excuses that are utterly ridiculous for physical copies of games, but when it comes to digital downloads, there are no excuses - at all.

Shipping costs? Import tariffs? All utterly irrelevant.

Charge a US customer $60 to download a digital copy, then charge an Australian customer $100 to do the same thing, off the same server - when the AUD is worth more than the USD, is ridiculous.
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/parliament-probes-technology-price-gouge-20120428-1xrl2.html

I am quoted in said article :)

I was also on The Project tonight on channel 10 if anyone saw it. And yeah paying $79 for a $59US game in Australia is a bit rich considering its a digital download and our dollar has been on parity for some time now.

I totally approve of this inquiry.

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