Thank you for your email to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (the ACCC) regarding retail pricing in Australia. In particular you have raised concerns that US comic books should retail for a lesser amount.
The role of the ACCC is to ensure compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (the Act), which is designed to encourage fair trading and discourage anti-competitive conduct through a specific set of competition and consumer protection rules.
I understand and sympathise with your concerns about the high prices that consumers pay for some products in the retail market compared to international prices. The ACCC is constrained by the legislation it administers and there are no provisions in the Act that prohibit this type of conduct. The ACCC has no power to set or control prices for goods and services at either the retail or wholesale levels. It does not have a direct role in regulating or setting prices except in the case of products or services that are declared under Part VIIA of the Act. The price of comic books is not declared under Part VIIA. In these circumstances businesses are free to determine their own pricing policies and provided that they do this independently it is unlikely to raise concerns under the Act.
Thank you for contacting the ACCC. I regret that I am unable to be of more assistance to you.