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Adobe Bows To Pressure and Cuts Australian Prices 159

Posted by timothy
from the fairish-dinkum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Software giant Adobe has bowed to public pressure and slashed the price of some of its products for Australian customers a day after being ordered to front a parliamentary committee hearing to explain its excessive charges."
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Adobe Bows To Pressure and Cuts Australian Prices

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  • About darn time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sharkytm (948956) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:08AM (#42870655)
    Adobe's pricing has been out of line for a long time, and IMHO, their products are slipping. Acrobat X fails to complete several tasks that I do regularly with Acrobat 8.
  • Re:About darn time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:31AM (#42870895)
    Not that this has anything to do with the GP post, but there is nothing that 95% of users of Photoshop couldn't do at least as well with GIMP.
  • Re:Why so high? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:39AM (#42870979)

    The USD used to be worth a hell of a lot more than its worth now. Even compared to just recently. One of the many fun side effects of the collapse of empire.

    About 10 years ago the conversion from USD to AUD was darn near 60 cents to the buck. So a "$600 USD" thing really should cost "$1000 AUD" because of currency conversion rates. Today the ratio is very near 1:1. But if you've trained the kangaroos or whatever to expect to pay darn near twice as much in AUD as USD, then why not keep doin it if they're dumb enough to keep paying it?

    The government involvement is the .gov always gets worked up over black market currency transactions. You go ask them to explain, I donno. Something about pretending to be an unregulated currency exchange. Combined with some weird money laundering possibilities. Also one of many reasons a country crashes its currency (competitive devaluation, etc) is to increase exports. But if the disobedient companies refuse to recognize the new exchange rate, that kinda defeats the purpose, thus they get pissed off. Also there's a lot of game theory in international economics where all the big players (the nations) agree to keep all their minons in check, otherwise things don't go so smooth. So if we start a mini-trade war over crappy web dev software, the aussies might fight back by not selling us Crocodile Dundee sequel movies or WTF they sell us. Probably most (semi-valuable) rocks aka ores of some sort. We probably sell them as much horse piss beer as they sell us so that would break even and not matter too much. So... anyway...

    The same thing has pretty much happened with the Canadians. A decade ago $1.40 CDN bought you a buck, now its darn near parity $1 for $1. In the olden days paperback books and magazines always had something like $4.99 USA $6.99 Canada printed in ink on the cover. Obviously that would be a tremendous ripoff now that $1 equals about $1.

  • by AlexOsadzinski (221254) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:03AM (#42871269) Homepage

    While digitally-delivered software is an egregious example of price gouging, it's hardly unique. Sure, Australia is a long way away from most places and it's a very small market (about 22M people). So it's understandable that some goods will cost more, especially if they need local parts and supports: think cars, or even computers (but not bits). But, despite the pervasiveness of the internet, price differentials still exist FAR in excess of those caused by local taxation and tariffs and market sizes.

    The US has it very, very good indeed. Why does, say, an Audi cost 30-40% less in California than in Germany, after you remove taxes? Same car (modulo some safety marks molded into some of the parts and other minor differences), same warranty, same service. The only difference is that it spends a few weeks on a boat instead of a few hours on a truck getting to the dealer. Why do the same Chinese-manufactured clothes cost, in some cases, 3-5x more in Switzerland than at Macy's anywhere in the US? How come that Japanese cameras are 30% cheaper in the US than in, say, the UK, or even in Japan?

    I think that part of the answer is cultural. As an emigree to the US (22 years ago), one of the things that I first noticed was the national obsession with getting the best price on everything, almost regardless of personal wealth. Americans simply won't put up with price gouging. The clerk at Macy's will take some time to stack coupons and discounts for you to give you the lowest price. People actually negotiate the prices of many things with the seller, e.g. cars. In the UK, a favorite phrase was "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it", which was a not-so-subtle tactic to make you feel somehow inferior for wanting a discount. And I will always remember the look on an American friend's face when, at a UK breakfast place, she asked for a refill of her (tiny) coffee cup and was told that it would be an extra 2 pounds. Try that at any restaurant in the US and witness the riot.

    The internet simply causes resentment and envy when people in less fortunate places browse US sites. A lot of people simply order from the US and deal with the customs and shipping hassles (and, sometimes, the lack of local warranty). My Swiss friends bring empty suitcases on trips to the US and fill them up at Best Buy and Macy's; the Swiss tax on bringing stuff in for personal use is very low. I saw one billionaire (literally) friend from Switzerland buy a box of batteries at Best Buy because they're so expensive in his home country.

  • Re:I'm Surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:21AM (#42871481) Homepage Journal

    But when all vendors are doing it, then there might be suspicions of cartel-like price fixing.

    It is of course off and the whole case seem to set new precedent for the global market.

    P.S. I wonder if WTO and other trade agreements come into play.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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