The Australian Parliament is investigating the comparatively high prices Australians are required to pay for digital software purchases. The inquiry, set to start later this year, will be conducted by the House of Representatives standing committee on infrastructure and communications.
Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Communications in Australia, has signed off on the inquiry, which will also consider pricing of software and other IT-related material.
"There is evidence to suggest that the innovative use of technology is not always matched with innovative new business models in the case of products and services distributed online," Mr Conroy said in a letter to Sydney MP Ed Husic.
Similar complaints are frequently made by Kiwi gamers, with prices on Steam (for example) often far exceeding those charged to American users of the service. Given there's no obvious cost increase for publishers to supply other markets with a Digital Download service, many gamers are often left wondering why they should pay a "living in New Zealand" tax.
If regulation is the ultimate outcome of this inquiry (a conclusion that is far from certain), the implications to Australian physical distribution businesses that rely on competitive pricing could be significant.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, via Gamasutra