Under pressure, Adobe drops Aussie prices

ASHER MOSES
Last updated 16:23 13/02/2013

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Adobe has bowed to political pressure to reduce its Australian prices but the software maker has come under fire from consumer advocates for only cutting prices for certain products.

It comes after Adobe, Apple and Microsoft were on Monday summonsed to appear before the Australian IT pricing inquiry in Canberra on March 22. The companies have been accused of stonewalling efforts by politicians to figure out why Australians pay so much more than Americans for identical tech products.

Access to Adobe's Creative Cloud product, which includes Photoshop and the rest of its suite of professional tools such as Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro and InDesign, has been reduced to A$49.99 a month from A$62.99.

"Single app subscriptions for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, SpeedGrade, Acrobat Pro have been reduced to A$19.99 per month from A$24.99 per month," said Adobe.

"Muse has been reduced to A$14.99 per month from A$18.99 per month; Edge Inspect has been reduced to A$9.99 per month from A$12.99 per month."

Adobe Australia communications manager Suzie Brady said the nominal prices were the same as in the US except for the change in currency.

She also confirmed that the software prices at retail stores and for business customers would remain the same, claiming the company was "eventually moving away from boxed copies", and the digital subscription service provided benefits such as automatic upgrades in the cloud.

Alan Kirkland, chief executive of consumer group Choice, said "if Adobe was genuine about treating consumers fairly it would have reduced prices across all of its products".

"Consumers should be very careful when buying Adobe products because you'll still be paying a premium price simply because you are living in Australia," he said.

In Choice's submission to the IT pricing inquiry, published last year, there was a 64 per cent difference between the Australian and US prices of several of Adobe's products.

Choice found Australians were paying on average 50 per cent more than Americans for identical music, software, games and hardware.

Kirkland said attention was now focused on Apple and Microsoft to see whether they will also drop prices so they are more in line with the US. They declined to comment.

On Thursday, Adobe's global president and CEO Shantanu Narayen will open Adobe's new office in Sydney, with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

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New Zealand Communications Minister Amy Adams says she plans to keep an eye on a parliamentary investigation ordered by her Australian counterpart.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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