Australian officials are not happy. They haven’t been happy since a 2011 study revealed that Aussies were paying more for digital content (e-books, movies, music, software) than many developed countries – including the U.S., even though the Australian dollar is now worth more than the U.S. dollar. Officials asked representatives from major digital-content companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) to speak to a parliamentary committee about charges of price-gouging, and Friday was the day that these companies arrived to provide testimony to the committee investigating the charges.
This is a followup to the article we had Thursday, where Aussies were asking for representatives from several major companies – including Apple and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to explain why digital content is priced so much higher than Australia than in other counties – including the U.S. Although the Aussie dollar was weak against the U.S. dollar four years ago, it has rallied nearly 50 percent since to now be worth about US$1.05 – yet prices for digital content in Australia was still as much as 50 percent more expensive than in the U.S.
Earlier today, we brought you the response to the claims from Tony King, the vice president of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, and his defense was … well … how to put it … “it’s not us.” King claimed that the prices of digital content on Apple iTunes or App Store platforms are based on wholesale prices established between content providers and movie studios, TV networks and publishers. He said Apple was just serving as an intermediary to the marketplace.
So what about Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)? How did they answer the question about their higher prices Down Under?