FICTION: 'There is no evidence that prices will come down if the PIRs are removed. The Productivity Commission is typically indulging in discredited free trade theory and tired ideology'.
FACT: Beside the bleeding obvious fact that the new regime hasn't been implemented in Australia so how could there be any evidence, the commission clearly states, on numerous occasions throughout the report, that removal of the provisions will remove the 'upwards pressure on prices'. They don't guarantee or promise or even say that prices will come down. The expectation clearly is that they will, if only as a matter of logic. To use an analogy, if a pool is drained presumably there'll be less drownings in it. Someone could still stick their head in the remaining dregs and do the job, but as a matter of plain common sense I would go out on a limb and say there'll very probably be less death by drowning in the non-water circumstance.
FICTION: 'If you compare Australian prices of imported US titles with their US prices you will see that local prices are not higher at all once the average exchange rate of $0.69 is taken into account'.
FACT: If you conveniently chose an average exchange rate that suits your purpose, well, unsurprisingly, this is true. The APA has selected the past ten years as its time frame. This works only because of the collapse of the A$ in the five year period from 1999 to 2003 inclusive, when, according to RBA charts, the average rate was $0.57. Over the five years since then (2004 to 2008 inclusive) the rate has been $0.79, pretty close to where it is today. Do you see any publishers pricing their imports according to that rate? No. They've had five years to adjust but have chosen not to. The 'ten year average' mightily suits their case.
FICTION: 'Dymocks and the Coalition for Cheaper Books are not really interested in lower prices to consumers but higher profits for themselves'.
FACT: I'll go out on a limb and suggest that Dymocks and the Coalition are probably interested in both. If they can source books at lower prices off shore then that gives them more margin and enables them to be more competitive by passing on some of that margin to consumers. It's called business. It happens right across the economy. It's not original or innovative and it's not rocket science. Now, with the PIRs in place, any price discounting they do to attract customers has to come 100% out of their own margin. They're discounting widely now, so why wouldn't they be motivated to do more of it if they can secure lower purchasing costs? Once again, it's a matter of logic. (The other way to gain more margin is to do what A&R/Borders is doing and mark up everything above recommended retail price. What sort of customer friendly strategy is that? Yet Dymocks, who've never marked up, is copping the flak!)