Members of the Australian Parliament have been looking into whether residents of the country pay an unfair premium on electronics and related services since last year, and now two of the biggest names in technology have been called to testify on the issue. The Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications in Australia's House of Representatives released a memo today stating that it had called Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe to speak at a public hearing on March 22nd.
Apple reportedly provided testimony on the matter in a private hearing last year, while Microsoft provided a written statement during the same timeframe pointing to regulations, supply chain costs, and the "relatively high cost of labor and rent" as reasons for the price discrepancies. Adobe offered neither at the time, but said that it had helped in the preparation of a presentation to the Committee by the Australian Information Industry Association.
"In what's probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summonsed by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US," Ed Husic, the House member that is leading up the inquiry, told Kotaku Australia. "It'll be interesting to hear specifically how all three companies defend their practices — particularly with regards to the pricing of digital products."