A national inquiry is kicking off today to look at whether Australian consumers and businesses have been ripped off by the international IT and electronics industry.
A House of Representatives committee will study why a range of electronic goods, software and entertainment products cost more overseas than in Australia.
The industry claims that prices are higher due to the cost of business in Australia, although consumer groups reject this.
Business credit demand sinks
There has been a worrying slowdown in business demand for credit, with new figures pointing to heightened concerns about the health of the Australian economy.
Veda’s business credit demand index was 4.5% in the year to June, down from 8.8% in the year ended March.
New Australia Post deal slammed
A new deal between Australia Post and an online provider has been labelled a “kick in the guts” to traditional retailers.
Australia Post will be the exclusive shipping partner for international shopping service Tarazz.com.au, which employs people in Australia and Singapore.
However, Grant Arnott, chairman of conference group Online Retailer, said that the move will hurt retailers already under pressure from overseas eCommerce sites.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session at 13,073.01, down 2.65 points, or 0.02%. The Australian dollar rose to US105.02 cents.