Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

British pay more for goods than Americans

The Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 were both £57 more expensive here
The Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 were both £57 more expensive here

UK consumers are getting a 'raw deal' by paying significantly more for technology products than US shoppers, a watchdog has reported.

Which? compared the prices, excluding tax, of 13 identical products ranging from TVs and gaming consoles to desktop applications and security software, and found UK consumers are paying more than they would in the US.

The price difference of some items, ran to hundreds of pounds.

The consumer group found a Samsung television was £402 more expensive in the UK, and an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop cost £194 more here than in the US.

The Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 were both £57 more expensive here.

UK shoppers are also paying 'over the odds' on digital goods, with a 12-month subscription to the imaging software Adobe Creative Cloud costing £114 more here than in the US.

Microsoft Office Professional digital software cost £236 in the US compared to £325 in the UK, a price difference of £89.

Which? advised consumers to consider buying digital products in-store where possible, as items such as Microsoft Office were sold by the company at a fixed price but physical versions were sold by numerous retailers and more likely to be discounted.

The watchdog is also calling for a rise on the current threshold for import duty on goods bought online to the same level as that placed on goods brought back from abroad to allow shoppers to take advantage of cheaper items on sale in the US.

The current threshold for customs duty for technology products bought online from a country outside the EU is currently £135, but travellers can bring home goods worth up to £390 without having to pay duty.

Which? director Richard Lloyd said: "Manufacturers should play fair and explain why consumers are paying more for buying in the UK."

Sky takes slice of Bake-Off firm

The independent producer behind BBC hit show The Great British Bake-Off has had a 70% stake in it bought by BSkyB.

Love Productions, which also made welfare documentary Benefits Street and which is thought to have a turnover of around £14m, netting a windfall for its two founders who set it up in 2004.

Sky said Anna Beattie and Love's chief executive Richard McKerrow, will remain with the group as it is run as a distinct company under distribution platform Sky Vision, which will carry on offering shows to other broadcasters.

Sophie Turner Laing, MD of content for Sky, said: “This is a significant step for our growing international content business. Love is one of the UK's most innovative and creative independent producers with a track record of success across a range of genres, both in the UK and globally.”

The group is also behind the Great British Sewing Bee reality TV show, and documentaries including Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich and Homeless, Make Bradford British and My Last Summer.

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