Apple has blamed Australian record labels, films studios and TV networks for the significantly higher prices in the country for digital downloads compared to the US.

Apple has blamed Australian record labels, films studios and TV networks for the significantly higher prices in the country for digital downloads compared to the US.

 
The cost of a song, software, or hardware in Australia is on average 50 percent more expensive than the US, according to a report by consumer advocacy group Choice. In some cases albums cost double the price, such as Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience, while software like Adobe CS6 Design and Web Premium costs the equivalent of $3,300, compared to $1,899 in the US.
 
Apple, Microsoft and Adobe are facing tough questioning and criticism from an Australian parliamentary committee, after allegations of unfair pricing were raised by consumer watchdogs.
 
Tony King, VP of Apple Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, pointed the finger at what he described as “old-fashioned” content providers, stating that Apple has called for lower prices. He said the cards are ultimately in the hands of the people who own the content.
 
 
The trio of companies also blamed other factors for high prices in Australia, such as the country's 10 percent goods and services tax, high labour costs, copyright issues, and the classic geographical product differentiation, a fancy way of saying prices are naturally different in different regions.
 
The committee investigating the pricing issues has strongly criticised all three companies for initially declining to send executives to publicly answer questions. When the companies eventually complied many of the answers given were considered as evasive or doubtful.
 
To make matters worse for Australian customers, many of them are prevented from buying cheaper products from US websites, forcing them to buy the greatly inflated versions closer to home. The committee challenged the three companies with charging “what you can get away with.” Australia is now considering taking control of pricing itself, which could drive costs down substantially for consumers, and really hurt the revenues of the software giants.
 
Source: Reuters
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