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Apple says content providers like record companies, TV networks and movie studios are to blame

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe are currently being questioned for the high prices they charge Australians for digital products, but Apple accused traditional content distributors like record companies for the price hikes.

An Australian parliamentary committee is investigating Apple, Microsoft and Adobe for charging Australian customers around 50 percent more for digital products (and sometimes hardware) than customers in other areas of the world -- including the U.S. 

Tony King, vice president for Apple Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, said that traditional content providers like record labels, TV networks and movie studios are to blame because digital pricing is based on wholesale costs set by these content holders. 

"The content industry still runs with perhaps old-fashioned notions of country borders or territories or markets," King said. "The cards are in the hand of the folks who own the content, that is not in our hand to play."

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe also said that prices are higher in Australia because of higher labor costs, copyright issues, geographical product differentiation and Australia's 10 percent goods and services tax. 

A survey by consumer advocacy group Choice showed that both hardware and software sold in Australia were priced 50 percent higher than the same items in the U.S. 

While King pointed out that products like the iPad mini and Final Cut Pro software were the same price in Australia as the U.S., other products clearly are not. For instance, albums like Justin Timberlake's "20/20 Experience" and AC/DC's "Back in Black" on iTunes are priced 50 percent and 70 percent higher in Australia compared to the U.S. respectively. 

For Adobe, Australians have to pay A$3,175 ($3,300 USD) for CS6 Design and Web Premium software while Americans pay just $1,899.

On Microsoft's end, the committee said that Australians pay A$4,136 for the same products that Americans pay the equivalent of A$2,324 for. 

Source: Reuters

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RE: am I missing the problem?
By mike66 on 3/23/2013 8:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
So the Government can't really single out software companies when basically everything else there costs 2-3x more than everywhere else.
The FCC here take on all companies in all industries, it has taken on telco's, oil and mining industries, media, electronic. The government does not need to sue because it regulates by creating laws. Americans love to quote " for the people by the people" from your constitution, compared to us Aussies you guys haven't a clue. We wanted good gun laws, we got them. For such a young little nation ( 20 million people )we have a real voice in international affairs. All our best products are sold to the Asian markets as luxury items, sorry but America can't afford them. I have been to your country and what a mess. I live in a beach side mansion for $150 a week. People are literally dying to get into our country because we are a true free democracy. No attack drones killing our citizens within our boarders is also a bonus.

RE: am I missing the problem?
By runutz on 3/24/2013 12:02:47 AM , Rating: 1
Frankly, Mike..No one gives a Schlitz that you are a troll.

RE: am I missing the problem?
By mike66 on 3/24/2013 1:12:08 AM , Rating: 1
With that response you must be a septic tank also without a clue, bah ha ha, what's the matter jealous of our fine nation, oh well I forgive you as you must be upset at your failing nation. Can't win a war since Vietnam and now a failing economy, once the coal tar sands run out no more energy and owned by the Chinese because of the money you owe them. You nation is getting exactly what it deserves for it's sins against other nations. I prefer the term ogre for myself. I hope you are a dooms day prepper, it's your only chance.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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