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Submitted by cl1983 512d ago | news

Please explain prices: Parliament subpoenas Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

Federal Parliament has issued documents formally compelling major technology vendors Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to compulsorily appear before its committee investigating price hikes on technology products sold in Australia, in a move that finally ends months of stalling by the vendors, who have proven unwilling to voluntary discuss their pricing strategies in public. (Apple, Culture, Industry, Microsoft, PC, PS3, Sony, Xbox 360)

Update Shortly after being summoned to appear before the inquiry, Adobe announced that it will slash the price of some of its products in the Australian market. Photoshop and Creative Cloud will both have their prices lowered for individual licences, bringing them in-line with what people in the US and other markets around the world pay. Business licences of these products remain unaffected.

joab777  +   512d ago
They shouldnt have to...this is absurd. Government doesnt answer to us. They are not transparent. If the prices are too high, dont buy it. Though, if they want an answer they only have to look to themselves as the dollar and pound become more and more worthless each day
calis  +   512d ago
You must live in a wonderful fantasy world.
joab777  +   512d ago
Actually I don't. I am not happy that prices are high and I wouldn't buy it and I would be pissed but the issue at hand is whether they should be forced to change them by government or even more importantly to explain pricing strategy. The problem is much more complex than this. I just love how we now live in a world where we want what we want, we don't want to pay much (which is fine) but we support crushing regulations and blame all problems on industry while letting government's skate. I know this is a broader issue but it's the reason everything is how it is today. The video game industry, just like almost every industry in the world (maybe Apple excluded for the moment) is in financial trouble. But we have no patience to let the market work. Complain, sign petitions etc., force them to change the pricing but government involvement should be a very rare occurrence. I guess I am crazy...we will see.
Hydralysk  +   512d ago
Except when technology vendors mark up the price for reasons they don't explain, and there aren't alternative vendors for the product you want, you're SOL, which is a pretty legitemate reason for people to be pissed.

Just because you don't buy the product doesn't mean things will change. I don't buy CoD but that doesn't stop it from outselling everything year after year, and more games trying to copy it as a result.

If these companies are charging more money for the same products/services in AU than other locales for no observable reason, then the people deserve an answer as to why they're the ones being price gouged.
#1.2 (Edited 512d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
BitbyDeath  +   512d ago
You want our support you do.
nukeitall  +   512d ago
I believe in a free country to, where I am free to markup the price of my product as I see fit. There is no reason why the government should be meddling in with my business.

It's not communism, and as long as I pay my taxes and there is real competition then I see no reason why the government should be able to say, you are forced to sell this at that price?

This is the equivalent of the government putting inquiring on why the working man's salary is so high!

All I can say is I is free market and supply/demand!
#1.4 (Edited 512d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
parkerpeters  +   512d ago
It isn't about capitalism, it isn't about freedom. It is about unethical business practices. Monopolies controlling you wallet. You want freedom? Adobe has your freedom on lockdown.
joab777  +   512d ago
Freedom isn't strengthened by running to government. We can both agree that the prices may be absurd but it is our responsibility to battle them. Yeah, it's unfortunate because we have lost our nerve and with past government intrusion, corporations have had to move factories and raise prices to maximize profits. I say it's great to get angry and fight back. It just isn't OK for government to be able to compel Corp to act except in rare instances. This isn't one!
nukeitall  +   512d ago
@parkerpeters:

"It is about unethical business practices. Monopolies controlling you wallet."

You really need to go back *re-read* my comment. There is nothing unethical about having a large profit margin.

The question shouldn't be why are you charging so much, but rather why isn't there more competition between these companies?

Currently there is no monopoly in the video game industry, so the government need to stimulate competition and not meddle in business affairs.

"Adobe has your freedom on lockdown."

Adobe has practically been an industry standard now so they are pretty much a monopoly. However, that doesn't stop me from using a different competing product. The higher the profit margins, the bigger room for more competitors.

So no, Adobe doesn't have my freedom on lockdown, but they do make some darn good products.

Most consumers don't know how it is to run a business, so all they see is huge profit margins, but they never see the cost of running a business, nor do they see the fat tax bill you get stuck with.

That is why I love the US, despite all it's problems. If I work hard, I get to profit. If I do nothing, I earn almost nothing as it should be!

I don't want a bunch of lazy compadres hanging out getting high wages for doing almost nothing.
#1.4.3 (Edited 512d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report
parkerpeters  +   512d ago
I for one, think this is a fantastic turn of events!
calis  +   512d ago
if anything happens. Our government is pretty soft on this stuff.
BanBrother  +   512d ago
Yes it is fantastic. They were talking about this ages ago, but obviously the big companies declined to comment (I think Apple had a BS excuse).

I doubt that our government will get anything done, they are utterly useless when it comes to technology. Too many old Christian men in Australian politics (not hitting at Christians, just that the old ones have that olden day thinking).

Too all those saying it is because of the dollar differences, you are wrong. The Australian dollar is currently at around 102.5 U.S cents, which dropped recently as it usually hovered around 104-105 US cents.
What about shipping? There is no way it costs $400 per iPad, unless they are flown overhere individually in golden wrapping.

I understand that things will be more expensive here, to to isolation and small market, but what about digital items? If we have to pay more for digital items (we do) than that is unfair. Robbery.
Tzunoy  +   512d ago
you want your answer don't buy at high prices they will lower them :)
annus  +   512d ago
I don't want to pay $900 for an iPhone, yet many do, so the prices never drop. If it were that easy it would already be done. The way the world works is magical.
4lc4pon3  +   512d ago
good its about time for aussies to get a cut. Prices in AUS are insane and they need someone to step in.
cl1983  +   512d ago
I wonder if there's something more to this story from their lat paragraph, "If nothing else, at least seeing some more honest evidence in this case will help fuel a wider debate about how the Australian Government can create a more favourable environment for major technology companies to operate in Australia."
calis  +   512d ago
They're only doing it because companies realise we're going overseas to buy tech and they're losing money.

It's not for the peoples benefit.
Saryk  +   512d ago
I believe in the free market and competition. I can understand they reason they are asking, however for them to get involved by passing resolutions would be disastrous!

The Free Market works as long as governments gets out of the way. The only time government should be involved it to make the system fair and to regulate for the safety of society!
Baka-akaB  +   512d ago
if in the "free market" an AU iphone cost 900$ , clearly it isnt working well and regulating itself
Saryk  +   512d ago
Yeah, the government had no hand in it, did it?
cl1983  +   512d ago
Supply and demand.
ShaunCameron  +   512d ago
What's left out in all this is the fact that Australia is a much smaller market than the US with a much smaller population. Maybe the reason for the high prices is that due to its small size, charging lower prices might result in lower ROI making doing business there a waste.
annus  +   512d ago
It's all manufactured in the same place, with the same materials. Assuming they make back the same profit as well as what is on top of the shipping costs and the wages of those who organize the shipments, it would result in a profit. The Aus dollar is on par with US dollar, so if it costs DOUBLE the prices PER ITEM for importing, they are doing something extremely wrong and need to rethink their business strategy. I can understand a slight increase on the products, but some products are over double, some DIGITAL content being 75% higher.
cl1983  +   512d ago
Well something to look at that non of us on n4g are qualified to say, unless corporate attorney here that are licensed for USA and Australia, are the cost of doing business in both countries.

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