Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Gouging Aussies?

A non-profit consumer advocacy group has taken notice of prices that consumers pay for certain tech products and services, and has decided to call out Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) over their pricing structures in Australia, and apparently representatives from both companies may be summoned to personally appear in Australia to answer for their pricing models.

Should this Concern Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc (GOOG)?

A courtroom in Canberra is looking into a case where Choice, the consumer-advocacy group, has noted that while the Australian dollar has strengthened against the U.S. dollar in recent years (to actually be worth more than a U.S dollar), Australians can wind up paying nearly 50 percent more than Americans for many of the same Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes downloads or Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) software sold in the U.S. The Australian dollar is currently worth US$1.05 – an increase of about 47 percent since 2008, and Choice believes that companies like Apple and Microsoft are now gouging Australian customers.

As a couple of examples were featured in a recent report. U.S. recording artist  Rihanna has a new album called “Unapologetic,” which retails on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes store for $16 in the U.S. and $23 in Australia. As another example, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) sells it Office 265 software package for $400 in the States but $600 in Australia. Choice is basically questioning these prices because, according to the exchange rate, the former example should retail Down Under for about $17 instead of $23 in Australia, and the Office 365 example should retail for $420 in Australia, not $600.

“If a legitimate product is available in an overseas market, people should be able to access it,” said Matthew Levey, Choice campaign head. “(This is) a form of protectionism imposed by private businesses.” Both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – maybe other companies as well – will likely be asked to account for the large difference in pricing for Australian consumers. Neither company has made any comment officially about this, but Microsoft sent a statements saying that sales taxes, labor and rental costs, marketing spending, and third-party resellers are all factors that may increase prices in Australia.

It is possible that if these companies are found to have been gouging Aussie customers, they may be forced to pay back potentially millions of dolars to consumers for cover the difference in their prices.

What do you think about this? Could this be a case of price-gouging by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), or is there really something more to this? Is there a middle ground here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

Please see these related AAPL or MSFT articles:

The Nook’s Slow Death at Barnes & Noble

Is Apple Looking at a Lost Decade?

Why Apple’s Small Device Could Be a Big Deal

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!