While technology is universal, pricing obviously is not. Computer hardware and software (even services) can sometime cost a premium, depending where one lives. Sure there are transportation costs and taxes involved, but still some of the differences are downright outrageous.

Consumers in the UK, in particular, have to live with these exuberant prices.

Now, ZDNet is reporting that all three firms are summoned by the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communication to attend the inquiry on IT pricing — and seriously, with a name like this who can afford to avoid showing up.

All three companies had up till now refused to attend any of the previous parliamentary hearings.

Labor MP Ed Husic, who is leading the inquiry, said:

“These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches. Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT pricing enquiry.”

Adobe has already confirmed that it will cooperate with the Committee, though Microsoft and Apple are yet to comment on this latest development.

While a lot of countries have a variance in the amount of prices for IT products, particularly software. We recently covered how Australian consumers had to pay around $420 to get their hands on Windows 8 Pro version.

Of course, things are at the earliest of stages right now, and what results this inquiry brings and how the prices are affected remains to be seen, if at all. But it’s a start.

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  • MoWeb

    And its about time. I can buy something from a US-only store and have it shipped to a re-shipping company in the states. Then I can pay their fee, plus insurance, plus additional shipping back to Australia, and still save up to 60% on the exact same product here. Adobe must be the worst though. Their digital download version of Creative Suite is over A$1,300.00 MORE than the same thing in the US. Explain those costs, Adobe!

    And if they give the usual “prices based on local factors” argument again, I hope they have the book thrown at them. That excuse is pure rubbish. It’s more like “we charge the absolutely most we think we can get away with”. If a single person can pay retail, plus taxes, plus shipping (with insurance), plus additional fees, AND STILL get it cheaper than they provide it, then there is something wrong. Because I am pretty sure a multi-national, multi-billion-dollar company, operating warehouses, and having negotiated shipping channel deals, and with bulk shipping discounts, should be able to do it cheaper than an individual.

    • Fahad Ali