The war over high Australian prices continues this week, with albums such as Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ being $15.99 for a digital download on the US iTunes, but a whopping $24.99 in Australia. In another example, Microsoft sells Office 365 for $400 in the United States, but $600 in Australia.
While there may have been reason for this while the Australian dollar was low, the strength of the dollar should see the price of digital downloads in particular level out in comparison to US prices.
For this reason, Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have all been summoned to appear in a hearing today in Canberra, although they have ignored other requests for them to do this in the past. The aim of the hearing is to discuss the reasons the companies have for setting their prices so high, which they say includes specific sales taxes in Australia, different labor and rental costs, and marketing spending. However, the committee formed is still considering placing restrictions on their future ability to set prices in Australia.