Apple, Adobe, Microsoft subpoenaed to explain price gouging

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Apple, Adobe and Microsoft have finally been held accountable for their reticence in the IT pricing inquiry, with the three companies summonsed to explain their pricing before a public hearing.

(2010_1310 - Coins_3 image by Ben Hosking, CC BY 2.0)

Throughout the IT pricing inquiry that has been ongoing since July last year, three major companies have refused to provide public evidence: Adobe, Apple and Microsoft.

In a release today (PDF), the House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communications announced that it has issued summonses to all three companies to appear before a public hearing to explain their pricing.

Previously, Apple had given evidence at a private hearing, and Microsoft had tendered a submission but not attended hearings, while Adobe attended hearings, but did not give evidence and did not tender an submission, instead claiming that it had helped the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) prepare its submission.

Now, if all three companies don't attend the public hearing, they will have to face serious legal consequences.

Ed Husic MP, who is heading up the inquiry, told Kotaku Australia:

These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches... 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.

The public hearing will be held on Friday, 22 March 2013 at 09.30am in Committee Room 1R1, Parliament House, Canberra.



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shanegh posted a comment   
Australia

Microsoft charged the ATO for an extra 64 or so licenses for Itanium for windows 2008 R2 because someone at HP said the HP superdomes ran the Datacentre OS witch doesn't exist in the 2008 OS

I hate to know how many SQL licenses ATO paid for that weren't needed because of this Microsoft rep, I am sure that Microsoft has earnt a few million from our government departments from ignorance, its not just about being overcharged for a product its about being ripped of through ignorance

 

DavidT2 posted a comment   

Well, as much as I hate price gouging it is just business and there's not much you can do about it except to vote with your feet. A company only charges what it does because it knows the consumer will buy it.

 

ResoLite posted a reply   
Australia

There certainly is something that we can do about it; get the government involved to protect consumers, which is exactly what is happening here. Price gouging is not 'just business', it is 'bad business'. Bad for the consumers who are being ripped off, and ultimately (i hope) bad for the companies who practice it, assuming the government takes appropriate actions against them. If the companies mentioned are truly charging more to Australians purely out of greed, then they should, can, and (apparently) will, be held accountable.

 

DanielG2 posted a reply   

Spoken like someone who doesn't use the creative products these companies provide.

The problem is that these companies, Adobe in particular since it is the worst offender, are the *only* option. The entire digital creative industry largely revolves around the products it provides. Training, production pipelines, software addons and hiring practices based around peoples guaranteed use of the Adobe Suite, with any other potential software being woefully inadequate in comparison.

Autodesk should be summoned here as well as they are even worse than Adobe. Autodesk basically have a monopoly on professional standard 3D Imaging and rendering software - you literally cannot develop a serious project without Autodesks involvement. The licensing costs for a single Australian Autodesk user is enough to afford TWO US licenses.

 

TobiasV posted a comment   

they should do the same in europe

 

CSerruto posted a comment   
Australia

Awesome to see this!! Can't wait for the outcome.




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