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back to article Australian Parliament issues summons to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

The IT Pricing Inquiry being conducted by Australia's House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has issued summons to Apple, Microsoft and Adobe. The inquiry kicked off in 2012 and is investigating why Australians pay more for hardware and software than those overseas. At current exchange rate one Australian dollar …

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Bronze badge

Bandwagon anyone?

I see there is an ever-growing number of countries starting to ask about these costs and transfer pricing and the like. If these global corporates are not careful we will see the various tax authorities come up with a global database to track the costs and see where the money is really going.

All the double-dutch Irish sandwiches won't help if the tax-man sees Brownie points in re-interpreting laws/agreements to please their masters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bandwagon anyone?

What we're seeing is simply governments getting desperate for more $$$ tax revenue so they can continue their ruinous ways with excessive spending. They see the political drawbacks in directly taxing voters, so they are scrabbling to find ways to tax people without all the noobs knowing that they're being taxed.

This is so they can continue to play the generousity card, like "we're so generous giving you (insert special interest/victim/minority of some sort name as selected target of the month) all this money" without saying that it is so easy to look generous when giving away other peoples money.

Because, companies don't "pay" the tax in the end, people pay taxes. So tax Apple (say) more, and some combination of customers, employees, and shareholders actually end up paying.

You're all being fleeced, but because it's indirect you seem to think that you're not actually paying. It's a good trick while there are so many ignorant voters out there.

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Anonymous Coward

Focus on Apple ?

Apple have to physically ship products to Australia - have retail stores (hence local real-estate costs).

Why not focus in the disparity of cost for online purchases - for software etc.

Focus on Apple when it's down. How brave.

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Re: Focus on Apple ?

Apple sell software too. Apps. Music. Videos. They are just as guilty as Adobe and Microsoft.

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Re: Focus on Apple ?

They have to shift the same goods to the USofA - the hardware is made in china, remember, so the delivery charge idea is specious.

Software - all done over the internet via iTunes isn't it? Paid for by the customer.

Try again...

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Meh

Re: Focus on Apple ?

"Apple have to physically ship products to Australia"

Correct. Shipped from China. Surprisingly, China is closer to Australia than to the USA so by that logic those products ought to be cheaper in AU than USA.

On the other hand, it's been shown that shipping goods around the world is actually a tiny amount of the total shipping costs. Most of the cost is the road and/or rail transport from the factory to the retailer. Or so the multinationals who ship food around the world instead of using local suppliers keep telling us

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Not just Oz

Thing ins the USA costs $999, how much does it cost in the UK?

£650-ish? No, don't be stupid. It's £999 minimum.

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Linux

Linux is the same price.

Kubuntu (everyone in our office is using this now), Ubuntu, Debian, Centos are all the same price....

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FAIL

Its not merely Australia...

When you go to the Microsoft online store you can buy software packages. A version of Visual Studio 2012 Professional here in Holland costs E 615,-. In the US however people pay merely $499,- for a copy.

Its not Australia; its merely the way these companies work.

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Re: Its not merely Australia...

Indeed it is, but unlike the corrupt financial black hole that is the EU, the Aussie gummint is doing something about it.

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Re: Its not merely Australia...

While I appreciate your sentiment, Stratman, I think what we'll discover is that the gummint's idea of "doing something" and "holding an enquiry" are the same thing.

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Linux

Apple were quite good on this I thought

As a previous resident of Australia, yes most of the goods and services available to you over there are hysterically marked up and overpriced, with profits disappearing into the pockets of a variety of dodgy middlement, exclusive importers and (for some reason) retail real-estate barons. Most tech seemed to be double the price it was elsewhere. Cars were ludicrous!

Apple, OTOH, seemed to sell at roughly the US price + GST, which seems fair enough.

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Unhappy

Australians pay more for hardware and software than those overseas

Don't know why they are complaining ... Europeans don't.

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Bad examples

The examples cited in the article aren't that great.... USD to AUD is basically at Parity, and the effect of GST simply seems to be ignored (Australian prices typically include taxes, US don't).

16 GB WIFI iPAD

$US499. In Australia it's $AUD539.

Add 10% for GST onto 499 (so $49.90, but lets call it $50) and you get 549. The price is $10 cheaper!

MS office 365 costs

$AUD119 down under, but $US99.99

Add 10% to 99.99 and you get 109.99. A mere $10. Not worth writing home about.

Surely there are better examples out there that actually show the problem being complained about?

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Anonymous Coward

Cheaper to fly to US and buy VS 2012 Ultimate there

"A Choice investigation found that one Microsoft software development product Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate was so overpriced in Australia than an Aussie shopper could pay for return flights to Los Angeles, buy the software there and still come home thousands of dollars better off than buying it here."

Link

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Denial For Cost of Policies

Those running the UK are smart enough not to hold this sort of monkey trial for fear of being outed. If Apple's hands are forced they will document exactly how government policy and regulations drive prices up.

Cradle to grave nanny states don't come free, or even cheap.

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FAIL

hahaha #auspol's self-importance strikes again

Hillarious.

As usual, those in Canberra who idolise their counterparts in the US and UK think that they have some sort of power over large multinationals such as Apple, Microsoft and Google.

They forget that to these companies we are a little drop in the ocean. More people live in London, New York or Istanbul than in the whole of Australia.

Australian Pollies, with their self-importance, is like an annoying scratch to these companies. What'll end up happening is that they'll withdraw from the Australian market, just to get rid of the annoyance. And who loses out ultimately? The customer.

Fail.

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Pirate

Aim those pitckforks...

...at Adobe - they are the kings of price gouging in Australia. Apple's prices are consistent with allowing for the small differences required for localisation, taxes and shipping small numbers of boxes into a small market sitting on a huge and sparsely populated continent.

Adobe has no excuses for their blatant rip offs especially the price of their downloaded software - no packaging, no localisation, no media, no local hosting and no local support staff.

Apple's testimony should put Adobe in a tight spot.

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