I understand this is a growing issue, not just for domestic users but also in industries like farming. In the latter many farm machines have encoded in their computers services and repair constraints that mean servicing and repairs can only be undertaken by the manufacturers with the necessary passwords AND analysis /support software. That is likely to spread to domestic machines, cars, white goods, etc.
My first example is for bicycles. There are 3 major manufacturers of components and hence parts, Shimano, Campagnolio and SRAM. Shimano are now the leader by a large margin.
There are two related aspects. Many bike manufacturers, globally, have no option but to source their components from these 3 companies. Hence, new bikes imported/bought in Australian bike shops are effectively OEM products. Many of the components are NOT marketed by these companies in Australia, so when a component fails you can’t source the part from a local bike shop. You have to buy a new bike!
I have for years designed and built my own bikes. But it has now become almost impossible because I can’t obtain components from Australian sources. For example Fork rake can make a significant difference to a bikes handing, but in Australia you can now only source virtually a single rake for all carbon forks. Global bike manufacturers operate on efficiency of scale, not necessarily the best brand/model of a component.
As a specific example, I bought a cheap ALDI MTB bike. After about 18 months a wheel bearing became noisy. I tried multiple local bike shops, but they didn’t have a spare part, ie, cone for the ball bearings. Eventually the Australian supplier for ALDI, ended up sending me a complete new wheel, as they couldn’t source spare parts, either. Changing the cone for cup/cone bike wheel is a basic maintenance job for every bike! Bikes have always had and need the ability to be repaired by the user.
Australian bike shops have huge mark ups, not uncommon to be 2-3 times a recommended price. A bicycle tyre costs more than a car/4WD tyre!
Also another product area that suffers the same limitation as bikes, is desktop computers. There are a number of commonly reported review companies, eg, Tom’s Hardware. The vast majority of the recommended parts aren’t sourced at all in Australia, worse, the links to the overseas sources from these sites, let you get as far as placing the order, only to fail at the last step of payment/delivery to Australia. Yet many of the components are merely replacement of the original equipment. A motherboard fails - don’t fix that, buy a whole new desktop! When we all started to use ZOOM, ie, for the pandemic, to get a background of your choosing you need a higher spec graphics card, can’t buy overseas!
I’m worried that this is the thin end of the wedge for all repairable/serviceable products.
This is now much worse as these companies, constrain sourcing from overseas, and in fact a growing number of companies for any product not just bicycles. So, I think this constraint also needs to be part of the Choice submission.