Netflix Australia "tests" price hikes

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The Australian, observed the tested price changes weekend as: the basic service was rose to $9.99 a month from $8.99, the standard service went up from $11.99 to $13.99 and the premium service increased by $3.00, from $14.99 to $17.99.

The price rises are only targeting Aussie subscribers right now and are wound back on Mondays.

However there is speculation that a new tax imposed on the streaming service by the Australian government could be passed on to customers.

Netflix's United States series - including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Sense8 - have enjoyed huge global success but this is the service's first Australian original since launching in the local market in March 2015. This year alone, Netflix plans to spend $6 billion to produce more than 1,000 hours of original content. To date, the weekend surcharge has only been trialled with select customers in the USA, resulting in a price hike of between $1 and $3 a month (depending on membership level).

The test comes six weeks before the implementation of what has been dubbed the "Netflix tax" - legislation charging worldwide suppliers of digital products and services a GST of 10 per cent. If we use approximately the same percentage price hikes being tried out in Australia, and apply it to USA pricing, we could see the rate for the monthly Basic plan go to $8.99 from the current $7.99.

Netflix confirmed the tests, but emphasized that it has not yet formally announced any permanent price increases.

So no, Netflix prices aren't going up. Yet. This is the reason, the tax which will be implemented on July 1, has been dubbed as the Netflix Tax.

"This story is one that has been itching to be told and we are thrilled to be making it on our home soil in Australia with fantastic creatives and highly skilled crews", she said.

"We collect and remit tax wherever we are legally obligated to do so", the company said.

The statement did not elaborate on the number of subscribers affected.

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