Australia Orders Apple, Microsoft, Adobe To Pricing Inquiry
Apple Inc has been ordered to appear before Australia’s parliament with fellow technology giants Microsoft Inc and Adobe Systems Inc to explain why local consumers pay so much for their products, despite the strong Aussie dollar.
The House of Representatives launched a probe in July last year to see if some goods were more expensive in Australia than in other parts of the world.
Consumer bodies have often complained that Australians are overcharged.
The firms have previously made written submissions to the committee but have so far declined to appear in person. They are now scheduled to appear before the committee on 22 March.
Ed Husic, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, says that some estimates suggest Australian prices on some products are up to 60 percent higher than in the U.S. Husic told Kotaku Australia that “in what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summonsed by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to in the U.S. 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 Inquiry.
Husic took aim at Apple last week over local taxes paid by the company, telling parliament that Apple generated A$6 billion in revenue in Australia in 2011, but paid only A$40 million in tax – less than one percent of turnover.