Australian consumer advocate Choice has blasted Apple for overcharging Australian consumers compared to the US in the iTunes Store, “but the blame could lie with the Australian music industry,” says “SmartHouse” (http://macte.ch/2xa59).
The article says Australian blogger Graham Spencer found that iTunes customers in Australia pay up to 69% more for some songs than in the US. This was followed up by Choice spokesperson Christopher Zinn who has criticized the likes of Apple and Sony for lacking global price parity.
Apple uses an exchange rate that’s not directly linked to world exchange rate fluctuations, so an Australian currency appreciation hasn’t shifted iTunes prices in favour of Australian consumers, says “SmartHouse.” (Sony offers a ‘Music Unlimited’ music subscription service that costs Australians three dollars more a month than in the US).
Apple says the diversity of global prices is due to individual content agreements with each country, rendering exchange rates irrelevant. “Each iTunes store is relevant to the country within which it resides, i.e content availability and pricing is based on agreements with the relevant content owners in each country,” the Apple spokeswoman told “SmartHouse.”