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Australians Pay Up to 431% More For Online TV Shows

| 9 Sep 2014 06:08

Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black.

Being Australian, I always knew that the "Australia Tax" on digitally distributed goods was unreasonable, but I never knew it was quite this bad. In a report, The Age (via consumer advocacy group Choice) has discovered that in some cases, Australians pay a whopping 431% more than the rest of the world does when streaming online TV shows.

As the most extreme example, Australians using Foxtel Play pay 431% more than Americans using Netflix for that latest season of Orange is the New Black. Other absurdly high figures include Season 5 of The Walking Dead, in which the cheapest available price for Australians is $39.99 through iTunes, 376% more than UK NowTV customers pay to stream it.

"Time and again we are seeing consumers hit with the 'Australia tax' on digital content. It's clear the business models forced on consumers by local intermediaries are subjecting Australians to artificially high prices for overseas content," Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland said.

In response, Bruce Meagher, group director of corporate affairs at Foxtel, said "Choice have made invalid comparisons between completely different products to justify their claims. To compare Foxtel's service with that of Netflix in the US is nonsensical."

In other cases, many popular shows (such as Season 3 of Arrested Development) are simply unavailable to Australian customers to purchase legally. Those figures showing just how much Australians pirate suddenly make a whole lot more sense... Maybe the American ambassador should take a look at just how high our prices are before lecturing us.

Source: The Age

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