Adobe, Apple, Microsoft subpoenaed by Aus Govt

Macworld Australia Staff
11 February, 2013
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The Australian Government’s IT Pricing Inquiry has ramped up its investigation into the so-called ‘Australia Tax’ today by issuing subpoenas to Apple , Adobe and Microsoft. to appear in court next month for questioning.

The legal summonses, as reported by Gizmodo Australia, call the three companies to appear before the House Committee on March 22, 9:30am to address concerns over hiked prices on IT goods sold locally.

Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic, told Gizmodo Australia today that he is disappointed with the lengths the committee had to go to, in getting the companies to cooperate with the inquiry.

“In what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being called by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US,” Husic told Gizmodo Australia.

“Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry.”

Prior to the Government-issued subpoenas, Apple met with federal politicians in Canberra in July last year, after been granted a closed-door hearing in the parliamentary inquiry, with US representatives for the computer giant arguing its case.

In addition, Microsoft provided a three-page public submission that questioned the inquiry’s comparison of technology prices locally and abroad, saying: “Any such comparisons are of limited use, as prices differ from country to country and across channels due to a range of factors.”

Now it seems any previous attempts to resolve the matter will have to wait until the hearing next month. If Apple, Adobe or Microsoft fail to appear in court on the set date, they will face further legal action. Currently, it is not know whether other tech companies have been ordered to take part in the inquiry.

@grace_robinson_

4 Comments

4 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Gammo says:

    About time too – with modern communications and downloading from the US as easy as downloading from home, why IS there a price difference?

    Seems like a restrictive trade practice to me!

  2. K says:

    And they wonder why piracy exists

  3. Rod says:

    This is a great start. The system wide ripping off of us aussies has angered me for years. It’s not just electronics, it’s just about everything. It’s not just imported stuff either eg ARB an australian company exports 4×4 equipment to the USA where it retails at far cheaper prices than here. eg suspension lift kit for my car is $1250 (supply only)at ARB here in Adelaide. Yet retailers in the USA have the exact same kit for US$650. The maths is not hard and = one big ripoff for aussies.
    Cheers
    Rod

  4. triddin says:

    It’s not just tech companies though, it’s a widescale practice amongst all international companies.

    DVD’s/Blueray disks are apparently more expensive to manufacture here.
    Music also is for some reason more expensive here.
    And even non-media things are more expensive too.

    Cars for example are way more expensive to get here. As an example, a BMW 320i:
    Germany to America: $32k USD
    Germany to Australia: $65k AUD (in USD almost $67k)
    THAT is a price gouging by definition, almost a 210% increase.

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