Australian Parliament summons Apple and Microsoft over pricing

Feb 11, 2013
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Australian buyers of all sorts of gadgets such as smartphones a computers have long been subjected to significantly higher prices than buyers in other countries. Last year, the Australian House of Representatives launched a probe to see if some products were more expensive in Australia than other parts of the world. Many Australians and consumer bodies have long complained that Australians were being overcharged by manufacturers compared to other countries.

Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe have now all been called before the Australian Parliament to answer questions on pricing. The three major companies are scheduled to appear before the committee on March 22 of this year. According to one Australian Parliament member named Ed Husic the price of some goods in Australia were 60% higher than the same items in the United States.

Previously the companies have made written submissions to the Australian committee and have declined to appear before the committee in person. Husic said that increased prices for hardware and software within Australia could have a major commercial and economic impact. Australians have long complained of price discrimination due to the significantly higher prices they are forced to pay than people in other countries.

Husic also said that getting the companies to decrease prices in Australia and to reduce price discrimination should be a big micro-economic priority within the country. It will be interesting to hear how these companies justify the increased prices in Australia. I suspect there is no real justification other than the market has supported the pricing over the years because they had no alternative.

[via BBC]


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