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Australia’s Productivity Commission wants pricing answers from Apple

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A parliamentary committee in Australia wants to force Apple and Microsoft to appear before it after members became frustrated with the company’s refusal to co-operate, reports “The Age” ( Hearings into the pricing of software and other IT-related material such as games and music downloads will begin in Sydney today, but neither Apple nor Microsoft will appear, the article adds.

The Productivity Commission is examining price differences between software and other IT-related products, which often sell in Australia for significantly more than the same products in the US, note “The Age.” The Commission report into retailing, released last year, said company excuses for the higher pricing, such as Australia being a small market compared with other countries, ”in most cases are not persuasive, especially in the case of downloaded music, software and videos, for example, where the costs of delivery to the customer are practically zero and uniform around the world”.

”Some of the big names in IT have taken local consumers for a ride for years but when legitimate questions are asked about their pricing, they disappear in a flash,” Labor MP and committee member Ed Husic told Fairfax Media. ”Within our growing digital economy, there are reasonable questions to be answered by major IT companies on their Australian pricing. These companies would never treat US consumers in this way.”

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