At Stuff, Tom Pullar-Strecker speaks to Labour IT spokesperson Clare Curran about the government’s half-hearted investigation into technology price gougers. He writes: MP claims IT report falls short.
Pullar-Strecker quotes Curran:
“It appears the ministry has not done what it was asked to do. It shows there is either a disregard for the committee’s wishes, or they are being given instructions from higher up.”
Technology price gouging is a big deal in Australia where the government called representatives from major international companies and asked them to justify higher prices to a Parliamentary inquiry.
If anything New Zealanders get a worse deal from the multinationals than Australians. A Green Party survey shows we can pay 40 percent more than Americans for the same goods and services.
Sadly there is little a government can do about price gougers that does not have repercussions.
On the other hand, getting the subject out in the open and talking about it is a positive move. At least the spectacle of watching the US giants foot drag, then clumsily fail to justify high prices means Australians are no longer under any illusions they are treated fairly by these companies.
Transparency brings other benefits. Australia's government managed to shave A$100 million from Microsoft software licensing fees after the inquiry.
If New Zealand’s government could wrest similar concessions from the industry, that would be a start.