Australians to pay more for Adobe CS6

Adobe has taken the wrapping off Creative Suite 6 and its new Creative Cloud products, but, once again, Australians are being forced to pay more.

(Car money image by Cimexus, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Creative Suite 6 (CS6) is the latest incarnation of Adobe's design software suite, and includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Flash Professional.

The price for the all-encompassing Master Collection CS6 costs US$2599 in the United States, but Australians will pay $1350 more, at $3949. For the Production Premium model, US customers will pay US$1899, while Australian customers will pay $2886. For the basic Design Standard package, Australians pay $676 more than their US counterparts, at $1975 compared to US$1299.

The Creative Cloud is a 12-month subscription service with a monthly charge that lets users access the full range of Adobe CS6 products to download, and includes a 20GB Dropbox online file-sync service, as well as Lightroom, Edge and Muse tools for web-page design, Touch apps for tablets and website hosting.

In the United States, a 12-month subscription will set customers back US$50 per month, but in Australia, this costs $62.99.

ZDNet Australia asked Adobe to explain the reason why the Australian prices are so much higher, taking into account the current exchange rate and the addition of the goods and services tax (GST). Adobe said the pricing takes into consideration the "costs of doing business in different regions and customer research that assesses the value of the product in the local market". The company said it has been listening to customer feedback, and said that the Creative Cloud product price was reduced in response.

"Annual subscribers paid AU$199 [per] month for a subscription to Master Collection CS5.5, and now pay only AU$62.99 [per] month for CCM. That's a reduction of 68 per cent. In other words, Adobe is delivering more value at a much lower price."

Adobe has come under fire in the past for the premium it charges to Australians for its flagship software packages, and it has gained the attention of Labor MP Ed Husic, who is working on launching a parliamentary inquiry into the so-called Australia tax.

Husic told ZDNet Australia that it is "completely outrageous" for Adobe to charge these prices.

"These companies do have to answer for the way they've been ripping off customers. We've tried to be reasonable with them and give them an opportunity to explain a broad framework for pricing, but they've been completely unresponsive, and I don't think it's good enough."

Last week, Husic asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at the National Broadband Network (NBN) inquiry whether it plans to investigate the price gouges, and commissioner Ed Willett said that the ACCC is "pretty keen to ensure that those sorts of differences are not supported by the contraventions of the Act".

Despite Willett's earlier comments, ACCC spokesperson Erin Polmear told the Daily Telegraph today that it is limited in what it can do to stop this type of price gouging.

"The ACCC is constrained by the legislation it administers, and there are no provisions in the Act that prohibit this type of conduct," she said.

Husic said that this contradicts what Willett said in the NBN inquiry last week.

"I'm surprised the ACCC was quoted [as saying that]. Ed Willett from the ACCC gave a completely different view," he said.


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ozoneocean posted a comment   

It's very simple: That's what customers are willing to pay.
That's the equation = the most you can get away with charging and still retain a reasonable customer base for a good profit.

Adobe know they're the only game in town for most of what they offer, mainly because Australia is a small secondary market- we have to follow what the big guys do elsewhere. Enough people in the US still use Adobe products to make it a standard. All adobe have to do is keep that American consumer base sweet and no competitors will be able to take over the market there and then flow on to us. They don't have to worry much about us so can charge as they please. Ironically giving a lot more incentive to pirates.


gregory.opera posted a comment   

So, don't use Adobe's products... How hard is it?

I use the PDF (portable document format) extensively for electronic filing and when I saw Adobe's prices for Acrobat: Professional, I went looking for alternatives... I found NitroPDF (, offering the same level of functionality found in Acrobat: Professional, for only a quarter of the price!

Another good example is The GIMP, which is probably one of the most famous and most powerful Photoshop alternatives... Best of all, it's completely free!

The point is, hit 'em where it hurts and take your business elsewhere...


Chandler posted a reply   

Taking business elsewhere is not always an option, and this same story can be applied to more than just Adobe products. And even more than just software.

You can generally jump onto online stores (like eBay) and purchase the same product and ship it into the country yourself for MUCH less than what you'd pay locally. Yes, local businesses have staff, tax, expenses, etc, but sometimes even all these additional costs can't explain the significant price differences: especially when you consider that they're probably getting it cheaper than you are.

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