Australia’s parliamentary inquiry into consumer electronics and IT pricing has heard testimony from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, the testimony however failed to impress. Australia consumers pay up to 90 per cent more for some of the most commonly required IT products, the trap of course is that programs like Adobe’s Photoshop are essential, irreplaceable tools in many businesses. The price discrepancies rely heavily on an enthusiastic abuse of copyright and a heavy handed approach to geo-blocking.
The price gouging by some of the planets largest companies led the parliamentary inquiry to take the unusual step of forcing Apple, Microsoft and Adobe – The Big Three – to front up and explain their obscene pricing policies. The inquiry issued a threatening summons to the world’s technology behemoths, demanding they answer accusations.
Committee chairman Nick Champion says the inquiry has heard from many Australian consumers and organisations frustrated at the prices charged for digitally downloaded software, computer games, music, movies, and e-books. Matt Levey, head of campaigns for independent consumer organisation Choice, says Australian consumers should not have to pay so much more.
Microsoft, which employs 800 people in Australia, says attempts to compare absolute prices across different counties is of limited use because there are a range of regional factors that need to be taken into account. The company says it provides recommended retail prices for its products that take into account various market forces, such as the size of the market, and the consumers willingness to pay :: Read the full article »»»»