Adobe Defends Its Ridiculous Australian Pricing Before Parliament


About a month ago, the fact that Australian customers pay so much more for Adobe CS6 that it’s actually cheaper to fly to the US and get it went viral on the internet. At that point, Adobe had already been summoned in front of Parliament to explain the “price gouging,” and had even dropped their monthly Creative Cloud subscriptions to reasonable rates in response.

Now, Adobe — alongside Apple and Microsoft — have finally been forced to keep that appointment. And during the meeting, each of the three companies gave the Australian Parliamentary Committee a few reasons as to why exactly Australian customers have to pay so much more for some of their products.

It came to light last month that it's actually cheaper for Australians to fly to the US to buy Adobe CS6

It came to light last month that it’s actually cheaper for Australians to fly to the US to buy Adobe CS6

While Microsoft and Apple cited distribution chains, copyright and competition, Adobe went a different direction, citing the personalized service offered by Adobe’s Australian website, and high local running costs. As Adobe’s Paul Robson explains:

“I run a local operation, that operation has costs, those costs include the salaries of our staff, the leases on our buildings.”

Those higher local running costs are added to by the fact that Adobe’s Australian customers can only purchase Adobe’s products from the local Adobe website, which charges up to 167 percent more. Robson explained that this website was important to customers because it offers a “personalized experience,” and important to Adobe because it “capture[s] the revenue that is relevant to the Australian market.”

Of course, not everybody believes Robson’s reasons were sufficient in explaining the massive gap in pricing between the US and Australia. According to Forbes, all of the executives avoided the true reason masterfully, that reason being “because we can.”

(via Engadget)

Image credit: Screenshot from video by Delimiter, Photo illustration based on Virgin Australia 737 by Simon_sees

  • ZeroSonico / djNatch

    Everything in my country (Uruguay) is priced this way.
    Xbox 4GB no kinect, no games = 600d
    A new DVD disc = about 90d
    A Kawasaki 250cc 11000d

    Brohug, Australia.

  • jeffery

    Let’s hope another software program rises to the occasion within a decade. Australia, Adobe owner.

  • Moanmsen

    fuk them scumbitches….

  • NDT001

    Ridiculous is the right term. The price gouging is just out of control and unfair, and Adobe knows it, because he simply could not give a reason as to why the prices are so varied. But the short answer is ‘because they can’. Hopefully not for much longer though.

  • Jay

    What is the need of physical presence of Adobe in Australia? Why cant they just sell online?! Greedy corporates!

  • Armando Escandalo

    In Chile, any product from EU or USA is priced at 1:1exchange rate. For example:

    Nikon D3200 kit
    AmazonUS: $596 USD
    Chilean reatail: $590.000 CLP ($1249 USD)

    SGS III Intl. version – 18 months contract (cheapest)
    Chile: $399.990 ($846 USD)
    US: $448 USD

  • sbw1990

    Torrent it, if you cannot afford it.

  • ietion

    If we do what we can too, I don’t think adobe will find it fare..

  • Eziz

    It’s even more expensive in Norway :(

  • tonyl

    Adobe wants to be able to sell it at a retail store in a box. Costs are higher in Australia because salaries are higher than in the US for average workers and the economies of scale are not as good.
    The only way to drop the price to the level of the US would be to have it as a download and not available at a shop.
    If this happened then there would be other complaints about how buying from Adobe is sending money directly overseas and not contributing to the local economy at all.
    Adobe cannot drop boxed prices lower and if they drop the download price then they will destroy the local retail market in their product.
    This does not apply to iTunes though, they are download only so there should be no difference in price. I wonder how Apple justifies it?

  • Ingemar Smith

    LOL, so true.

  • vivanteco

    Sorry your argument is ridiculous. There are boxed products sold for $20 whilst retaining margin in Australia, it does not cost more for adobes box than any other shelf software in a retailer. There is no justification for the 100%+ price diff. Period.

  • Frederico Samarane

    Same in Brazil

  • Photo | Artful

    Don’t buy that either. Most products are a bit higher priced than their original country (think $50-$100 more), but 167x their original price? That’s ridiculous!!!

  • dede

    go to asia for holiday. cracked versions are online. just say thanks to adobe.