Print 19 comment(s) - last by Initium.. on Feb 17 at 10:55 PM

Adobe CEO doesn't want to talk about huge Australian pricing discrepancies

A video has turned up on YouTube that shows adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen repeatedly dodging a question directly asked about Adobe's huge price discrepancies for software in Australia compared to other parts of the world. The person on the video asking the question repeatedly asks why Australians are charged as much is AU$1400 more for traditional software delivered over the internet than people in the United States.

This is a common complaint by Australian users who have long complained that they are price gouged by major companies such as Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft. In fact, pricing is such a source of contention within Australia that executives from Adobe, Microsoft, and Apple have been summoned to appear before Australian Parliament to answer questions specifically about pricing.
All three of these companies had previously refused to appear before Parliament.

In the video, the Adobe CEO continually dodges multiple questions about the Creative Suite and instead talks about Adobe's Creative Cloud offering. Adobe did recently reduce the price of its Creative Cloud subscription service from AU$62.99 to AU$49.99 matching prices in the United States.
Apparently, that price matching did not extend to people who want to purchase the Creative Suite as a download.

Updated 2/14/2013 @ 2PM EST reports that it's actually cheaper for Australians to purchase a roundtrip ticket from Australia to Los Angeles to obtain a U.S version of Adobe Creative Suite.

Source: YouTube

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Singled out?
By MozeeToby on 2/14/2013 9:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
Why is Adobe being singled out with this, every piece of software is significantly more expensive in Australia than other places. Buying MS Visual Studio Ultimate, for example, it is cheaper to fly two people to the US to buy a copy and bring it back than to buy it locally.

RE: Singled out?
By Brandon Hill on 2/14/2013 9:09:29 AM , Rating: 3
Adobe isn't being singled out. Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe are under the gun... for now.

RE: Singled out?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 3:42:46 PM , Rating: 1
Under the gun for what exactly? Can someone define "overpricing" for me?

In my view, you can either pay the price for something or just buy something else priced better or don't buy it at all. You aren't entitled to "good prices" or paying the same as others pay.

I'm sure there is a very legitimate reason why things cost a bit more in Australia. And it's not some massive conspiracy to single the Aussies out.

RE: Singled out?
By mike66 on 2/14/2013 4:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Overpriced = When it's worth using a dodgey pirated copy in a professional setting because license fees are thousands of dollars per unit. Happens all the time. The only really different thing over here is the PAL video standard.

RE: Singled out?
By InternetGeek on 2/14/2013 5:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree that people should shop around for better prices. However, even when Australian-specific overheads are taken out of the value most of the time you end up with a 30%-80% overprice and sometimes even more than that.

IMO, The Australian Government is stepping in because of taxes and pressure from local retailing groups. A US product won't incur taxes if its valued under $1000. And because of the taxinga greement between the US and AUS, it might not incur taxes if you've already paid US taxes (i.e. VAT or Sales Tax). The local retailing groups are trying to have the government raises taxes to even the field against online retailers.

However, if you walk into any store you can see how much more expensive it is. Windows 7 Pro was selling for AU$700 (US$735) in Harvey Norman, usually the first store around the world to start selling Windows due to the time difference.

RE: Singled out?
By jingle10 on 2/14/2013 5:31:16 PM , Rating: 4
Overpricing is when one group is charged more than another group for no justifiable reason. When Australian's are charged more than everyone else for a download, that is not justifiable. The cost of offering the downloadable content is the same for everyone, when we can click on the same link.

And no need to single out these companies, the gouging is across the board. People don't like to be taken advantage of. You can spin a whole lot of crap about Australia being so far away and it costs to send things here, in the case of physical items, but stuff made in Australia is cheaper to buy in the US even after all the export costs. Work that out.

RE: Singled out?
By croc on 2/15/2013 6:32:25 AM , Rating: 1
We all now look forward to your future visit to our fine land, mate. Let me be the first to show you the way to the nearest billabong.

RE: Singled out?
By phobo on 2/14/2013 10:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
Well mainly because adobe is the worst offender.Its actually cheaper to fly from melbourne to LA and buy Adobes full creative suite from there than to buy it here in Aus.

RE: Singled out?
By Brandon Hill on 2/14/2013 1:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Singled out?
By Scootie on 2/15/2013 12:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Adobe is not being singled out. It's just the first who is brought in for questions!

Price Gouging
By Initium on 2/14/2013 11:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
This is not uncommon all over the world. Australia is further away so for shipped goods there is a price difference and taxes will always make prices different in different countries but gouging is common.

A recently built system cost almost US$1,000 more sourcing the parts locally in Korea. The same parts bought from Newegg all retailed for at least 30% cheaper. Yes, even Samsung SSD (840 Pro Series) were more expensive in Korea than the USA.

In this global world of downloadable software there is no reason outside of local tax that can justifiably warrant a higher price. Any company that has anything like a market leading position like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft rip customers off at every opportunity.

My version of Win 7 came from the USA via a mate and cost all of $300. $700 in Australia is just rude.

RE: Price Gouging
By Strunf on 2/15/2013 7:40:30 AM , Rating: 2
Australia is closer to China than the US so by your reasoning it should be cheaper in Australia, the reality is the cost of shipping is a very small part of the price, in the case of professional software costing thousands I doubt shipping would be more than 0.01% of the cost.

RE: Price Gouging
By Reclaimer77 on 2/15/2013 8:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not speaking about digital purchases. But the reason physical goods cost so much in Australia? It's not a conspiracy. It's Australian Protectionist policies that have run rampant. Doing a bit of research, and I'm shocked to see how bad the situation is there.

Basically retailers are prohibited in Australia from shopping around for the best prices on good, and are instead forced to go through "approved" wholesalers, who jack the price up.

"As a small business owner I have to disagree. I want to charge comparative prices for my goods but it is not viable under the way I have to purchase my product. Currently I have to buy through a middleman in Australia. They own the rights to my product, they set their wholesale price (that is comparative to the US RRP) and then on top of that I have to put my retail price. Keeping in mind I am not allowed to by-pass the distributor or I will either get sued or blacklisted from them (and potentially other distributors in my industry).

As an employer, wages are also significantly higher here, and that has to be taken into consideration as well as paying a lot more more rent for my physical location than in other countries.

At the end of the day retailers get constantly vilified, but I can assure you that I am not out to gouge my customers, I want them to get the best price possible. I also don’t want to lose my business to the overseas market - but there is no way I can charge comparable prices."

RE: Price Gouging
By Initium on 2/17/2013 10:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely agree with your post. Australia is one of the most overgoverned countries on Earth. They have more laws than people practically and the formidable array of policies that prevent competition are simple unbelievable.

But nonetheless, there is no justifiable reason beside higher taxes that downloadable software should be more expensive in some countries compared to others. Australia tries its best to ruin competition but that should not affect prices to such a degree, should it?

in australia?
By cokbun on 2/14/2013 9:04:20 AM , Rating: 3
don't you mean in planet earth?

RE: in australia?
By ClownPuncher on 2/14/2013 3:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Not in the ocean, INSIDE the ocean."

When asked the last time......
By jabber on 2/15/2013 7:50:01 PM , Rating: 2 to why Adobe products were far more expnsive in the UK and Australia than the US, the reason given by Adobe was (and I am not making this up)....the cost of adapting to different laguages!

There you have it.

RE: When asked the last time......
By jabber on 2/15/2013 7:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
I also need to change the batteries in my keyboard!

Basic microeconomics.
By jahinoz on 2/15/2013 2:01:58 AM , Rating: 2
This is a fundamental of microeconomics. Its called creating producer surplus and economic rent seeking.

Look up marginal benefit. It demonstrates that different people will pay different amounts for the same thing. Obviously, there are group of people who are willing to pay more for goods than others. At this point for a single good, it should reach a point of equilibrium where the marginal cost = marginal benefit, unfortunately, it doesn't end there.

Every large company has a bunch of greedy economics experts who figure out "hey, if we're at eq. here, let's offer a rich small group of people who will pay more for a product at that higher price instead". More often that not, those people buy up big. Every company does this. Airlines do it. Reigonal pricing at fast food chains. Gas prices in areas with lots of cars vs no cars.

The only difference is its getting media attention because a bunch of politicians have a chance to look good due to a stakeholder (voters) crying foul. This won't change jack. The only thing that would stop Australians being overpriced is if they stop buying those goods (ain't gonna happen), or if they hit recession (likely won't happen anytime soon).

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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