Nearly one year ago, the Australian Competition & Consumer
Commission accused Apple (NASDAQ:
when it released the third-generation iPad. The ACCC alleged that
Apple's worldwide promotional materials -- which emphasized the
cellular version as "Wi-Fi + 4G" -- were false, as most
Australian consumers could not use the device at full 4G speeds.
Now Apple is in trouble with Australian lawmakers, who want to
know why the company charges more for its products in Australia
than it does in the United States.
In America, a 15-inch MacBook Pro can be purchased for $2,199.
In Australia, the same computer
A$2,499. The 32GB iPod Touch retails for $299 in America -- in
Australia it sells for A$329. Meanwhile, the iPad Mini (which
starts at $329 in America) sells for A$369 Down Under.
Virtually every item available on Apple's online store
in Australia. Lawmakers want to know why, especially when the
Australian currency is currently stronger than the U.S.
, Apple executives have been summoned to appear in front of a
parliamentary committee in Canberra on March 22. Microsoft
) and Adobe (NASDAQ:
) have been ordered to appear as well. If executives from these
companies refuse to appear, they could be fined or jailed.
Ed Husic, a Labor government MP who helped set up the
committee, told The Telegraph that all three firms have "blamed
each other for not appearing" when they were asked to do so last
"One will say 'we're not going to appear if the other is not
going to appear,'" he said. "So we've cut straight to the chase
and said we'll just summons you."
Australia is not the only country with higher prices. For
example, it is not uncommon for software and video game consoles
to retail for more in Japan than they do in the United
While the Australian market is relatively small compared to
the billions of potential customers in China, India and other
emerging territories, Apple is likely to maintain its current
pricing structure for as long as possible in order to maximize
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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