Apple, Microsoft and Adobe Called to Explain Price Disparities in Australia
The three companies have so far been reluctant, Kotaku reports, to speak to Australia’s House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications, which is looking into price disparities in Australia and other countries.
“The Committee is looking at the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products – Australian consumers often pay much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries,” says the summons document (PDF).
It’s easy to see what the committee’s concerned about. One look at Apple’s online shop in Australia reveals that the iPad starts at 539 AUD ($555) there, compared to $499 in the U.S.
It gets even weirder when you look into software pricing. For example, Adobe Photoshop CS6 costs 1,169.95 AUD ($1203) in Australia, compared to $700 in the U.S.
Unsurprisingly, the Australian customers are not pleased. “Why are we in Australia expected to pay almost twice as much for this product as those in the USA..? Great product but I will not buy until the pricing is more reasonable,” says one commenter.
“In what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summonsed by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US. Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry,” said Ed Husic, a member of the investigating committee.
If the three companies don’t answer this summons, they will face legal consequences. We can’t wait to see how they explain the higher prices in Australia — especially when it comes to pricing of digital products.