Ed Husic: what is Adobe thinking?

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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.

Federal Labor backbencher Ed Husic, who called for the IT Pricing Inquiry currently underway, has criticised Adobe's lack of participation.

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

Adobe, which has been frequently named and shamed as one of the worst offenders of Australian tech price gouging, has been mysteriously absent from the IT Pricing Inquiry and neglecting to make a submission.

According to The Australian (Paywall), Mr Husic has lashed out at the software giant, saying that Adobe "did make sounds that they would look at submissions and respond, but we don't know what they're thinking".

"The view I constantly get with consumers is there's a huge degree of frustration and anger, and when they try to engage with Adobe, they constantly get a company line that never offers a better understanding as to why the prices are different."

Choice, Australia's consumer watchdog, noted the following discrepancies in Adobe's pricing in its own submission to the inquiry, which begins public hearings Monday, 30 July 2012:

Adobe CS6 Design Standard:
Australia: AU$2,169.95
US: AU$1,322.97
Difference: 64 per cent.

Adobe Acrobat X Pro
Australia: AU$699.95
US: AU$457.92
Difference: 53 per cent.

Adobe InDesign CS6
Australia: AU$1,169.95
US: AU$712.34
Difference: 64 per cent.

Adobe Illustrator CS6
Australia: AU$999.00
US: AU$610.57
Difference: 64 per cent.

An Adobe spokeswoman responded to the claims yesterday, telling The Australian (Paywall) that Adobe had worked with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to prepare its industry-wide submission, rather than submitting directly.

"An extensive submission to the AIIA is our preferred approach, and we'll continue to participate as needed," she said. "That's the decision each company makes. There's a reason why we have a peak industry body."

She went on to add that the AIIA would be participating in the hearings, and, although Adobe would be attending also, it would not be giving evidence.

However, the AIIA submission (PDF) on the IT Pricing Inquiry website makes no mention of Adobe at all, instead making general arguments about the costs associated with doing business in Australia, compared to the US.

What do you think? Should Adobe stand up and take accountability?

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xinode posted a comment   

Three words. The Pirate Bay. So hello to the thingy for me :)


MarkM7 posted a comment   

They're as insouciant as QuarkExpress were and may go the same way. I wanted to subscribe to their new cloud service and they wouldn't let me use my current email address linked to my old UK Adobe account. They didn't want $65 per month from me! Very intractable IMO.


Chandler posted a comment   

Considering that with recent release of CS6 and it's pricing being one of the main instigators of this inquiry (at least in my opinion - the timing is fairly coincidental otherwise) then I would expect Adobe to partake in the enquiry.

I figure their lack of interest is driven by the possibility that they really are price gouging - certainly looks that way with those prices...

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