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Microsoft, Apple summonsed to explain high prices

Technology giants have been summonsed to appear before parliament

     

IanCP

7:59 am on Feb 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Technology giants Microsoft and Apple have been summonsed to appear before a federal parliamentary committee to explain why Australians are forced to pay more for some of their products compared with other countries.

The committee has also issued a summons to Adobe, with all three companies to appear before a public hearing on March 22.

If they fail to turn up they could be held in contempt of Parliament, which carries a range of possible penalties including fines or jail time...


Full story:
[abc.net.au ]

bill

5:20 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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From the tone of the article it sounds like Microsoft, Adobe and other companies called are going to give the Parliament a standard presentation about common market pricing. Is it possible this summons will result in anything more than that?

IanCP

7:11 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My view is that they have been summonsed solely on the basis they declined or ignored cordial invitations.

Being summonsed, by itself is ominous, unfortunately American corporations have a track record of thinking they are inviolate to Australian courts and institutions.

Contempt of parliament, if they're stupid, could loom large. The last and only case I can recollect were two bozo's who ignored the summons. They were both arrested in a very short space of time, placed upon a plane to Canberra and appeared before parliament.

Before night fall both were back in Sydney, in jail and shocked to realise their sentence was "for an indeterminate duration of parliament's pleasure".

After some days they re-appeared, purged their contempt and were released.

Sorry Bill, to answer your question: "give the Parliament a standard presentation about common market pricing"?

It won't be a presentation situation I think. Last year we had the CEO of one of the two big grocery chains appear before the Senate. He wasn't summonsed. He was grilled in a beguiling fashion. I could see the trap a mile off, he didn't. Making a horses backside of himself, he made certain categorical assertions to one Senator.

Eventually, the Senator sprung his trap. He told the CEO that his "real day job" wasn't being a Senator, his "real day job" was being a farmer. One of the farmer's being royally XXXX by his very corporation.

With the Senator then producing documentary evidence, all the CEO could do was put up both hands and say "mea culpa".

Rarely do they ask questions without first knowing the answer.

I'll look forward with great interest to these hearings.

bill

8:59 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Well, that does sound a lot more interesting than the article made out. ;)
Sorry for my ignorance of the subject. Your explanation helped clear things up immensely. I'm looking forward to follow-up news about this now.I also live in a market where software can be priced above average.

lucy24

9:09 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The last and only case I can recollect were two bozo's who ignored the summons. They were both arrested in a very short space of time, placed upon a plane to Canberra and appeared before parliament.

Er... Which sovereign nation extradited them?

IanCP

9:29 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The Commonwealth of Australia.

They ignored a summons to the House of Representatives, didn't arrive at the appointed time, the Speaker issued arrest warrants, they were arrested at their places of business a short time later, immediately flown to Canberra and placed before the bar of the house.

Stupidly, both mouthed off at the speaker. They were found guilty of contempt of parliament by the parliament and despatched back to prison in Sydney before night fall. We didn't have a federal penitentiary back then.

lucy24

9:31 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think you misunderstood the question.

IanCP

10:32 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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No I didn't, I answered the question. The two bozo's were two Australians resident in suburban Sydney.

Similarly, the executives of Microsoft, Apple etc. will be resident somewhere in Australia. Absolutely no point asking executives from overseas about the operations of their Australian subsidiaries.

outrun

11:21 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Adobe cuts Australian prices after inquiry summons

[afr.com ]

IanCP

8:32 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Adobe cuts Australian prices after inquiry summons

I wonder how Apple and Microsoft will now justify the large price differential for downloadable software?

LifeinAsia

8:39 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how Apple and Microsoft will now justify the large price differential for downloadable software?

The higher costs of downloading over such a far distance? :)

IanCP

8:52 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Two bob they'll fly with that, as one ploy, now that you have told them. The cheque's in the mail.

g1smd

8:58 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Maybe it's harder to force the internet electrons down the tubes from one hemisphere to another?

tbear

9:28 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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it's flipping them upside down that pushes the price up, I'm sure.... ;)

swa66

10:22 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Seriously: I think the world at large is better off when the global companies ask the same price for their goods everywhere. It enhances competition and allows smaller ones everywhere the same chances of growing big themselves. Also it reduces the urge of some scammers to set up a grey market of products designed to be used in one country to be uselessly shipped across oceans a few times before a customer unknowingly ends up with a product where the normal importer goes "not sold here, no guarantee for you".

bill

1:47 am on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So people in developing nations should pay the same price for Office, Windows or other software to support this Utopian view of competition? Aren't you then pricing many things out of their reach and further penalizing people in these markets? There are perfectly good reasons for different pricing schemes in different markets.

However, I'm not saying that's the case with the Australian market... I'd be interested to hear their reasoning for this.

swa66

12:12 pm on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



So people in developing nations should pay the same price for Office, Windows or other software to support this Utopian view of competition? Aren't you then pricing many things out of their reach and further penalizing people in these markets?


Or they could sell it at a reasonable cost everywhere ...
Or the developing nations could create more expensive products and stop being a developing country (the main reason is anyway that being a developing country allows them to offer (too) cheap labor).

The main issue is changing mentality (It would lead to far and into taboo topics to explain.

Anyway:
Software is bug riddled crap that's sold as if it's gold. It's not worth what they ask for it anywhere.
 

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