The Australian Parliament has finally gotten off its duff and is probing the price gouging there.
This is getting ridiculous. It’s actually cheaper for an Australian to fly to the US and buy CS6 here than to buy it in Oz! Well, Adobe’s going 100% digital and dropping box sets, so that might well not be happening any more, but the Australian legislature is demanding answers. Good for them, and high time. This has been going on for decades.
Companies often charge a premium of more than 70% in Oz as compared to the US pricing:
Microsoft: Office Professional USA: $399, AU: $599… failed to justify the price difference. So what did Pip Marlowe (MS’s Oz managing directrix) say? “customers will vote with their wallets”. They probably would, except tat the alternatives are also inflated. She might have equally said, “Let them eat cake.”
Adobe’s Oz managing director Paul Robson couldn’t justify the nearly 75% higher price for boxed editions of CS6 but pointed out the more equally priced cloud edition. That’s just absurd, since Adobe is eliminating physical editions in the future: Maybe the news takes longer to get to Oz, too.
Apple’s Australian boss Tony King came out best of the three. He stated that hardware differs in price only after conversions and taxes are figured in. The higher prices for digital content resulted from higher prices for Australia resulted from higher contract prices from the record labels and studios setting higher prices for Australia over similar content for the USA.
One has to wonder if these things are carry overs from before the digital age, when all content was physical. If so, it’s high time that delivery method should determine price. It costs next to nothing to deliver these goods digitally. After all, wasn’t that the main selling point of the internet and the digital age?
Whether that’s true or not, it’s high time Australians get treated equally with respect to digital delivery, and that physical delivery prices come into line and be justified by fact, and not by “What the market can bear.” That proposition requires an alternative priced differently.
Perhaps the best alternative is using Open Office or Libre Office, and returning the thumb in the eye.