For a while now the Australian parliament has been looking into the fact that its citizens are being fleeced by the top names in software. It has asked Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to explain how it can charge Aussies an arm and a leg for their products. The big three’s response so far has been “oh look, a badger.” They have also avoided much of the official inquiry into price gouging by giving important excuses such as “we are washing our hair.”
Now it seems the Aussies have had enough and are ordering the three to show up and answer some tough questions or face some music. 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 May last year, following a public campaign on the issue by Labor backbencher Ed Husic, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications called for submissions to help inform an inquiry into pricing of technology goods and services in Australia.
The anger is mostly targeted at online stores such as Apple’s iTunes, Valve’s Steam, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, Sony’s PlayStation Network, Amazon’s Kindle store and Adobe’s software store. Companies such as Microsoft have previously justified the charges based on the increased cost of doing business in Australia. Australian prices are up to 60 per cent higher than the US.