IT corporations including Apple, Microsoft and Adobe will become the first companies in Australia to be forced to appear before a federal parliamentary inquiry after and enquiry was launched as to why Australians have to pay high prices paid for tech products in comparison to their other counterparts around the world.
The investigation into the companies and their pricing has come about as a result of a push by Labor backbencher Ed Husic, who says that the three are “ripping off” customers in Australia. Last week Husic pointed to the fact that in 2011 Apple made $6 billion in revenue in Australia, but only paid a mere $40 million in tax (that’s less than 1%).
The House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has summonsed the three big technology companies for a public hearing on March 22, which means they will be compelled to appear and provide explanations for what some say is price gouging.
These IT firms in and Australian first are now being called by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US
Adobe said it would cooperate with the committee while Apple and Microsoft declined to comment. The committee has alleged that these IT companies have failed to answer key questions and so have been summoned
Consumer group Choice provided evidence showing Australians pay around 50 per cent more than US consumers for identical music, software, games and hardware. The website and consumer group Choice found that for one Microsoft software development product you could fly to Los Angeles return to buy the software and still save thousands of dollars.
Australia is complaining that although their currency is stronger than the dollar, the three tech companies are charging far more for their devices (and software) in Australia than they are in America Example:
Apple 16GB iPad – in the U.S. For $500, in Australia for $540 – from ( http://www.dailyflux.com )
"We welcome the move by the committee to force these companies to front the Australian public and explain why they think it is okay to charge Australians more," said Choice CEO Alan Kirkland.
"Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off. We believe it’s time that these companies realise this and start pricing fairly in the Australian market."