Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 09:56 UTC
In the News If you don't live in the US, this is a pretty common source of irritation: US companies charging crazy markups on products sold in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the rest of the world. The Australian government has had enough of this practice, and started an inquiry into the matter. Yesterday (or today? Timezones confuse me) Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe had to answer questions in a public hearing.
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Comment by static666
by static666 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:26 UTC
static666
Member since:
2006-06-09

Given enough demand why would you lower prices?

Especially when it comes to 'professional' products like Adobe's. One can always blame higher support costs in overseas markets or need for localization for the price increase.

Also, higher markups = higher list prices = higher discounts and bigger kickbacks.

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by chekr on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:00 in reply to "Comment by static666"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

Given enough demand why would you lower prices?

Especially when it comes to 'professional' products like Adobe's. One can always blame higher support costs in overseas markets or need for localization for the price increase.

Also, higher markups = higher list prices = higher discounts and bigger kickbacks.

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.


Assuming that you mean an above board commission payment and not a kickback ( a kickback is in common definition underhanded and unethical, almost a a bribe) - how is that a "WIN" for a developing economy?

And if you mean kickback in its true sense - it is most definitely not a win, it is a cancerous leach on that society and should be punished with extensive jail time.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 11:19 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

And if you mean kickback in its true sense - it is most definitely not a win, it is a cancerous leach on that society and should be punished with extensive jail time.

I do agree, absolutely. But unfortunately it is so prevalent in Russia, for example, that every major company doing business there (you name it) is practicing kickbacks in some way. Not much you can do when it is considered normal for any manager involved in influencing the decision making process to receive his cut off the deal.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by static666
by Soulbender on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:13 in reply to "Comment by static666"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy


Yeah, corruption is an awesome win for developing countries...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 12:20 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

...a kickback is in common definition underhanded and unethical, almost a a bribe) - how is that a "WIN" for a developing economy?

Ultimately it's a loss for a business and society as a whole, of course. However, IT is a very lucrative target for corruption, and it's a "WIN" for the parties directly involved.

Due to many developing countries still undergoing IT revolution, we see ever increasing reliance of business processes on IT technologies, faster growing budgets and spending, together with overall complexity of most IT solutions and sometimes total lack of expertise among the top management and business owners - it often comes down to certain individuals influencing the buying decision in a major way.

Now even those tech-oriented individuals often lack education or experience for proper understanding of proposed solutions, and many care about immediate personal gains. After all job markets in developing countries are very volatile, and it's rare for people to be treated as valuable asset rather than just a workforce.

This eventually leads to kickbacks being the only real way to seal the deal and guarantee a favorable outcome for the seller. No way you're going to spend time and money designing a better solution, tailoring it specifically to customer's needs, when your competitor just comes over and simply buys your decision guy out.

I can only speak for EMEA, but working for a company selling integrated solutions from various IT vendors for many years, I've seen them all involved, up to deals going through on regional level with high profile managers being aware and providing support.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by Spiron on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 18:00 in reply to "Comment by static666"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

As an Australian citizen I take offence to your implication that we're a developing economy. While I'm not schooled in economics I can say that Australia is most definitely a DEVELOPED economy which if I remember correctly managed to emerge better from the GFC that either the USA or Europe.

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software. This problem effects our private citizens who, despite the complete parity of the dollars, can't get the exact same piece of software for anywhere near the same price as a US citizen. And while you would expect some higher costs for both tax and support reasons that simply doesn't add up to a 75% increase in the price of the software.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by lemur2 on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 08:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software.


Backup for this statement (for the UK at least) can be read at the following links:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/GOV-UK-manual-suggests-a-pre...

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240179643/Government-mandates-p...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 12:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

As an Australian citizen I take offence to your implication that we're a developing economy.

Sorry, no offence intended. I was merely addressing the rest of the world point.

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software. This problem effects our private citizens who, despite the complete parity of the dollars, can't get the exact same piece of software for anywhere near the same price as a US citizen.

That is indeed great news and in my opinion the best way to influence the current situation. Still I find it quite amusing that developed countries are leading the way in free software adoption, while mostly poor third world ones being among the leading growing markets for top-priced commercial software.

And while you would expect some higher costs for both tax and support reasons that simply doesn't add up to a 75% increase in the price of the software.

I concur, 75% is completely insane. But what about microeconomics? Supply and demand? Economic equilibrium for price and quantity? If a product is popular and people can afford and do buy it, what's wrong with the pricing then?

Although the government can easily fix this by limiting margin of imported goods, software in particular. But then given the recent exposure of scale of tax evasion practiced by aforementioned companies, I'm pretty sure they'll find a way to rip people off.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by unclefester on Mon 25th Mar 2013 09:08 in reply to "Comment by static666"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.


Australia is actually a far more economically and socially developed country than the USA.

Australia has:

- the second highest per capita wealth (after Switzerland)

- a minimum wage 2.5x as high as the USA

- a medium male full time wage of over $72,000 [blue collar mining workers can earn in excess of $150,000 pa.]

- much lower unemployment than the USA

- free universal health care

- far less violent crime

- it only takes 3-4 years to complete a professional degree (equivalent to US Masters). The cost is also massively subsidised.

We have even managed to virtually eliminate handguns and assault rifles.

Did I mention that we also have have better weather and better beaches than the USA?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by lemur2 on Mon 25th Mar 2013 09:40 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Australia is actually a far more economically and socially developed country than the USA.

Australia has:

- the second highest per capita wealth (after Switzerland)

- a minimum wage 2.5x as high as the USA

- a medium male full time wage of over $72,000 [blue collar mining workers can earn in excess of $150,000 pa.]

- much lower unemployment than the USA

- free universal health care

- far less violent crime

- it only takes 3-4 years to complete a professional degree (equivalent to US Masters). The cost is also massively subsidised.

We have even managed to virtually eliminate handguns and assault rifles.

Did I mention that we also have have better weather and better beaches than the USA?


Agreed. The stat I like to point out is the incarceration rates:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rat...

Norway (72 prisoners per 100,000 population) and Sweden (70) both have Australia (129) well beaten here, but in America there are 716 incarcerated prisoners per 100,000 population.

Wow!

http://www.alternet.org/story/155199/private_prison_corporations_ar...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/private-prisons-the-mor...

<sarcasm> What a "success story" private prisons of America are, hey!

With just a bit more determination, I bet they could put just about anybody behind bars in America for 30 years or more, no matter what they did!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-17/the-overzealous-prosecutio...

By one common estimate, Congress creates new federal felonies at the rate of one a week. Husak argues that criminal liability has become less the outcome of deliberation than a habit, a bizarre bit of boilerplate tacked onto the end of statutes or regulations without a second thought. Criminal defense lawyers are fond of claiming that the average American commits two or three punishable crimes every day.


America leads the world in incarceration rates (for the powerless ordinary people). What an achievement! </sarcasm>

Edited 2013-03-25 09:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You can't trick me, I've seen Animal Planet. Australia is also home to the worlds deadliest snakes, spiders, sharks, fish, reptiles and AC/DC. I'm not moving there until I complete my roombatic animal assassin.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by coyote_sprit on Wed 27th Mar 2013 16:56 in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
coyote_sprit Member since:
2011-09-13

So you brag about how grossly overpaid your countries workers are and then bitch about the price of software reflecting how grossly overpaid you are?

Then you have the gall to compare your average wages to that of America. Well newsflash, if American's overpaid its employees as much as Australia did the software prices would rise exponentially here aswell.

Reply Parent Score: 1