Apple, Microsoft defend Australian pricing at inquiry

Mar 22, 2013
Apple's iPhone 5 is shown outside the US company's flagship store in Sydney,  September 21, 2012
Apple's iPhone 5 is shown outside the US company's flagship store in Sydney, September 21, 2012. Technology giants including Apple and Microsoft on Friday defended their pricing policy in Australia at an official inquiry launched over concerns that they were overcharging customers.

Technology giants including Apple and Microsoft on Friday defended their pricing policy in Australia at an official inquiry launched over concerns that they were overcharging customers.

Australians, on average, are forking out 34 percent more for software, 52 percent more for iTunes music, 88 percent more for games and 41 percent more for hardware than US consumers, according to consumer lobby group Choice.

Apple, along with fellow tech titans Microsoft and Adobe, was called before a parliamentary inquiry examining the pricing disparity.

In their testimony the firms blamed content providers and costs including packaging, shipping and labour for steeper prices of their products despite the Australian dollar sitting on historic highs which should make imports cheaper.

Tony King, vice president for Apple Australia, New Zealand and , said the iconic US company sought to adopt a uniform pricing policy around the world.

He said in relation to the purchase of music, movies and TV shows on iTunes, higher copyright fees demanded by and movie studios for products sold in Australia meant that downloads could be more expensive.

"The cards, so to speak, are in the hands of the folks who own the content," King said. "We would urge the committee to talk to the content owners to understand why there may be differential pricing."

Apple and Microsoft had earlier both made their own submissions to the committee, arguing that prices differed across jurisdictions due to a range of factors including freight, local taxes and duties and foreign exchange rates.

The Australian Information Industry Association, which represents including Adobe, has told the committee that the "costs of doing business in Australia are higher than in many other countries".

Microsoft Australia's managing director Pip Marlow told the inquiry Friday the company took into account labour and compliance costs when setting prices for each country.

"We don't believe that every market is the same," she said.

If Microsoft products were too expensive, shoppers would simply "vote with their wallets" and buy alternative products, she added.

Managing director of Adobe Australia and New Zealand, Paul Robson, said Australian prices took into consideration costs such as packaging, shipping and giving customers a personalised service with a local website.

Explore further: Alibaba IPO comes with unusual structure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tech giants summoned by Australia pricing inquiry

Feb 11, 2013

Global technology giants Microsoft, Apple and Adobe were Monday ordered to appear before a pricing inquiry examining the often-higher cost of tech goods in Australia compared with other economies.

The (digital) price is not right

Sep 28, 2012

A leading expert on intellectual property and consumer rights at The Australian National University has called for a range of legislative and regulatory changes to help stop unjustified price discrimination against Australian ...

Australia fumes over smoking kangaroos

Jan 13, 2012

The Australian government on Friday hit out at British American Tobacco for using images of kangaroos to sell its cigarettes in Europe, telling the company to "get your hands off our icons".

Changes to Apple's iTunes prices take effect

Apr 07, 2009

(AP) -- The era of one-price-fits-all-songs on iTunes came to an end Tuesday as Apple Inc., the Internet's dominant digital music retailer, began selling some of its most-downloaded songs for $1.29 apiece.

Recommended for you

Job listing service ZipRecruiter raises $63 million

13 hours ago

ZipRecruiter, a California start-up that tries to simplify tasks for recruiters, has raised $63 million in initial venture capital funding as the 4-year-old service races to keep up with growing demand.

Alibaba IPO comes with unusual structure

22 hours ago

Foreigners who want to buy Alibaba Group shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant's U.S. public offering will need to get comfortable with an unusual business structure.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BSD
1 / 5 (2) Mar 22, 2013
Managing director of Adobe Australia and New Zealand, Paul Robson, said Australian prices took into consideration costs such as packaging, shipping and giving customers a personalised service with a local website.


What a load of MS Fucking iBullshit. What packaging and shipping when you download it off a server?

I solved the problem myself. I use OSS.

Adobe, MS and Apple can stick their products up their collective arses.