A 66% premium? Sure, let me write that in Excel
We’ve seen price disparity in the tech industry for a long time now. We all know that buying stuff in Europe is a bit more expensive than in the States and that's usually explainable due to import tariffs, different laws, price of transport, etc. But it seems all these factors combined can’t even begin to explain the price disparity between Australia and the rest of the world when it comes to hardware and software.
According to a parliamentary inquiry Australians pay, on average, a 50% mark-up compared to other countries. And while a small part of this can be explained by the reasons listed above, it seems that most of the money is simply added on for no good reason. The committee noted that this adds up to “international price discrimination to the clear disadvantage of Australian consumers and businesses”.
The report even quotes a story we did earlier in the year, that showed that it was cheaper for an Australian to get on a plane, fly to the States, buy Photoshop there and then return home, than actually purchasing the software directly in Australia.
But it seems Adobe isn't the only company at fault here, nor is it even the one with the highest mark-up. In fact, Microsoft seems to have the highest premium on its product with Australians paying 66% more for the company’s products compared to the rest of the world. Adobe “only” reached 42% while Autodesk took the middle road with 51%.
The worst part of the practice is that on top of the regular consumer this ends up disproportionately hurting educational institutions, small businesses and folks who rely on accessibility software. The report does put out a ten point plan to try and address this situation with legally banning “geoblocks” so Australian consumers would have access to software designed for the States or Europe, being seen as a last resort.
Source: The Guardian | Image via Microsoft