UPDATED: Apple, Microsoft and Adobe summoned to price inquiry

Follows Parliamentary committee's deeper involvement in the impact of IT product prices charged to Australian consumers

The House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has summoned tech giants, Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to appear before the committee as part of its inquiry into IT Pricing.

The enquiry follows its deeper involvement in the impact of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products.

According to a statement by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications, the committee has been examining claims made by organisations such as CHOICE, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

These organisations have been alluding that Australian consumers are paying much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries.

ACCAN spokeswoman, Elise Davidson, said there are many unanswered questions about why Australians pay more for IT and digital products and this enquiry will shed some light into the matter.

“It’s a bold move by Ed Husic and the committee to summon these big three companies to give evidence and one we’re applauding. Without the testimony of Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, we’ll only get half the story.

“We’re really looking forward to hearing why these companies think it’s okay to charge Australians more than people in other countries for exactly the same product,” she said.

Davidson added that high Australian IT prices affect everyone from kids purchasing music on iTunes to small design firms who pay thousands of dollars more for Adobe software than their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

“This isn’t just about Australians getting a dud deal on purchasing entertainment, it’s also about making sure small businesses can access the tools they need to compete in a global economy,” she claimed.

Adobe said, in a statement, that it will cooperate with the committee as it has done since the inquiry began, while Microsoft declined to comment on the issue.

The summon has been issued for a public hearing in Canberra on March 22.

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