Australia’s parliament has called in a number of technology suppliers, including Apple, to a special session to discuss pricing. The focus is to understand why consumers in Australia are paying relatively high prices for tech products.
The concern expressed by Australian politicians centers, according to Engadget, on the current prices for imported technology products, despite a strong Australian dollar, where the dollar is very close to matching the U.S. dollar.
An example quoted by the Globe and Mail, is with a 16GB WiFi iPad produced by Apple with Retina display, selling in Australia for A$539, which is $40 above the price in the U.S.
Labor government M.P. Ed Husic, who helped set up the committee, is quoted by RT.com as saying: “In what's probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summoned by the Australian parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the United States.
For some time consumers and businesses have been trying to work out why they are paying so much more, particularly for software, where if it's downloaded there is no shipping or handling, or much of a labor cost.”
In addition to Apple, Microsoft Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. have also been called to attend the same session. The parliamentary committee is due to sit in Canberra on March 22. There is no guarantee of any of the big tech giants attending.