Cast member Peter Dinklage arrives for the season four premiere of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" in New York in this March 18, 2014, file photo. The blood-filled finale of the fourth season of HBO's fantasy series "Game of Thrones" was watched by 7.1 million viewers, the network said on Monday, topping the 5.4 million people who watched last season's closing episode.
Apple Australian iTunes store is depriving fans of Game of Thrones Season 4, and Apple refused to talk about it, Adam Turner of Sydney Morning Herald's Gadget on the Go found.
Given that HBO has an exclusive deal with Foxtel in offering week-by-week episodes of Game of Thrones, Quickflix and Google play already had all of Season 4 online by Tuesday.
In response to Turner's inquiry, Apple's Australian PR team told him to "reach out to the content owners directly."
Hinting that local distributor Warner Bros may provide answers, Turner reached out to the company.
"That is a question you would have to ask iTunes. Game of Thrones Season 4 is available for all of our digital partners from June 17th," Warner bros said.
From Warner Bros's response, it can be implied that Apple Australia has access to Game of Thrones Season 4 but opted otherwise.
HBO and Apple are "playing hardball to show that they won't be dictated to by the other, if Apple can't have Game of Thrones week-by-week then it's not going to leap when HBO finally throws it a bone, even if it means leaving customers in the lurch," Turner concluded.
Unfortunately for the Apple Australian iTunes consumers, they are also paying 33 per cent more than U.S. consumers for the top 10 new release movies in Apple's iTunes store, this time, due to Australia tax, CHOICE found.
CHOICE also revealed that Australian consumer pay 26 per cent more than U.S. consumers for a selection of new release and upcoming Playstation 4 video games and pay $50 a month to watch Game of Thrones on Foxtel, when a UK consumer can watch it in a subscription package costing just $9 a month.
"There is a real potential to benefit Australian consumers, giving them access to cheaper goods and services. But Australians face many barriers to accessing these benefits, whether it's outdated laws that prop up entertainment monopolies or the 'geo-blocking' on overseas websites that recognises a consumer is from Australia and either blocks them altogether or applies a specially marked up price," CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said.
CHOICE is now calling for the Federal Government's Competition Policy Review to axe the 'Australia tax' and provide Australian consumers the service at par with the overseas market.