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Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to front parliamentary inquiry on pricing

priceinquiryTech giants Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have been called to front a parliamentary inquiry to explain why Australians pay more for products than other customers in the US and UK.

The House of Representatives committee on infrastructure and communications has called for these tech companies to appear before a public hearing in Canberra on March 22.

The topic of discussion will be why Australians are paying more than other countries when it comes to tech products and software despite the fact the Australian dollar is stronger than the US dollar.

Local representatives from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe will be asked to testify in front of the committee to explain their pricing positions in Australia.

Consumer magazine Choice has welcomed the move after providing evidence to parliament that Australians can pay up to 50 per cent more than US customers for identical music, software, games and hardware.

 “We welcome the move by the Committee to force these companies to front the Australian public and explain why they think it is okay to charge Australians more,” says Choice CEO Alan Kirkland.

Choice hopes the inquiry will create pressure on companies to lower their prices for their Australian customers.

Choice cited an example of the price difference between the US and Australia – a Microsoft software development tool called Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate – which is $5,975 more expensive in Australia than the US.

“You could fly to Los Angeles return to buy the software and still save thousands of dollars,” Mr Kirkland says

“With price differences this stark, the same old excuses just won’t cut it anymore.”

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