Adobe, Apple and Microsoft address price gouging in Australia

By on March 22, 2013, 5:30 PM

Executives from Adobe, Apple and Microsoft attempted to justify the excessively high prices their respective companies often charge for goods sold in Australia to the country’s Parliament on Friday. The companies were issued subpoenas last month ordering them to appear in court today to deliver answers.

Adobe Australia managing director Paul Robson reportedly struggled to convince officials that the added cost of doing business Down Under justified price increases of up to 70 percent. The executive highlighted the more reasonable cost of web-based subscriptions but otherwise didn’t really have any other answers for Parliament.

Apple ultimately blamed old fashioned tactics from movie studios, television networks and record labels for inflated pricing of digital media via iTunes. The markup for such items can be as high as 70 percent, a figure that Apple’s Australian boss Tony King said he would like to see lowered. The price of physical products, he said, is largely comparable with the US.

Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow said the company doesn’t have a standard global price for their products. Instead, local pricing is based on a number of different factors including customer perception, cost structure and competition in the market.

Marlow said she has been working for Microsoft for 17 years and it’s the most competitive time she has ever experienced. What’s more, Microsoft sells a lot of products through its channel network where partners ultimately determine the final selling price of goods.




User Comments: 11

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1 person liked this | Guest said:

Lies, Lies, Lies.

Who wouldn't LIE to maximise Profits? The Pope...oh, scratch that too.

Part of the problem is that Australian's just DON'T understand that cheaper can be better, and have a ridiculous perception that if you pay more you get a better product, always. This is the mindset exploited by the big companies, combined with the higher amount of disposable income per capita in Oz.

Give us a break - we have to pay for our McMansions. Our Convict mentality seems to keep us in servitude to stupid prices and big companies lies (try examining our inexplicable Petrol Price fluctuations of up to 20 cents over a 10 day cycle (often leading to a public holiday) to see how toothless our regulatory authorities are).

misor misor said:

If these executives lie and the Australian government is afraid to go after them, then the government should run after these so-called channel partners and collect the proper taxes for the exorbitant retail prices.

1 person liked this | KG363 KG363 said:

Those are completely legitimate reasons. They can charge whatever they want. They owe NOTHING to us. If it's worth the high prices, people buy it. If it's not, people don't buy it and it become unprofitable to sell. If it is SO overpriced, maybe someone can step in and create a competing product at a lower price. But that's not happening. This really isn't complicated. It's simple supply and demand that a high school economics teacher could teach. The only argument that could possibly be entertained is that the Australian business landscape isn't conducive to fostering software startups.

yRaz yRaz said:

Those are completely legitimate reasons. They can charge whatever they want. They owe NOTHING to us. If it's worth the high prices, people buy it. If it's not, people don't buy it and it become unprofitable to sell. If it is SO overpriced, maybe someone can step in and create a competing product at a lower price. But that's not happening. This really isn't complicated. It's simple supply and demand that a high school economics teacher could teach. The only argument that could possibly be entertained is that the Australian business landscape isn't conducive to fostering software startups.

the share holder is always right

Mbloof said:

There's something very wrong when a round trip plane ticket to the States+Product costs less than buying the product in Australia.

1 person liked this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

Those are completely legitimate reasons. They can charge whatever they want. They owe NOTHING to us. If it's worth the high prices, people buy it. If it's not, people don't buy it and it become unprofitable to sell. If it is SO overpriced, maybe someone can step in and create a competing product at a lower price. But that's not happening. This really isn't complicated. It's simple supply and demand that a high school economics teacher could teach. The only argument that could possibly be entertained is that the Australian business landscape isn't conducive to fostering software startups.

Do not ever bring logic to any web discussion relating to corporate finance or economics. You will never win.

4 people like this | Renrew Renrew said:

They could have saved themselves the hassle by using 3 words: "Because we can"

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I hear of a lot of things costing more in Australia

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I wonder if these execs flew to court in their private jets, the way US car makers reps did when the were begging for a "bailout".

Even our corrupt, "under private management congress", didn't let that slide.

But you know what, unless you live in an Afghanistani cave, you should be aware that Apple pretty much sets their prices based on what they think the imbeciles who are willing stand in line for two days to get one, will pay.

M$ Windows has become such a standard of the computer industry, the product needs to be declared a "utility", and regulated along the lines of gas, electric, and water.

But, this just in, the "utilities" are in large part, no longer under government regulation either. So, as Alice Cooper so eloquently puts it, SUFFAH...!!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

They could have saved themselves the hassle by using 3 words: "Because we can"

Pretty much. I read the live blog. The whole thing was the execs fluffing about in a circle, saying it's not their fault.

I hear of a lot of things costing more in Australia

Everything. Absolutely everything (Take it with a grain of salt, though, of course.) And the service you get for it? Horrendous.

avoidz avoidz said:

Australians are rammed from behind at every opportunity from these big corporations. How do you justify pure GREED?

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