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Adobe drops price of Creative Cloud in Australia ahead of government inquiry

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adobe cs6 1020
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Adobe this week cut the price of its Creative Cloud software suite for users in Australia, putting subscription rates on par with those in the US. The decision, first reported by the Australian Financial Review, comes a day after members of the Australian Parliament announced a public inquiry into allegations that Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft price their products at unfairly high rates for domestic consumers.

"Creative Cloud membership pricing in Australia for individuals has been reduced to AU$49.99 [US$51.26] on an annual subscription per month for new and current customers, effective immediately," the company said in a statement. "Month to month pricing was $94.99 per month [and is now] $74.99 per month."

The reduction should go a long way toward appeasing federal regulators, though it only applies to individual consumers subscribing to Adobe's cloud-based services. Businesses will continue to be charged at the same rates, as will individuals purchasing software at brick-and-mortar retailers.

"I’m looking forward to finding out what else Adobe plans to do."

Australian MPs summonsed the three tech firms to a public hearing scheduled for March 22nd, after each refused to voluntarily attend. At issue is an apparent price inflation for Australian consumers compared to the US, despite the fact that the Australian dollar is currently stronger than the greenback.

All three have provided written statements in response to previous inquiries, blaming price discrepancies of burdensome regulations, supply chain costs, and the "relatively high cost of labor and rent." Thus far, however, they've been reluctant to defend their practices in public — particularly those concerning digital products.

It remains unclear whether Adobe's move will force either Microsoft or Apple to take similar pre-emptive measures, though it seems to have curried at least some favor with Labor MP Ed Husic, who has spearheaded the investigation. Speaking to the AFR, Husic seemed pleased with Adobe's decision, but implied that the company would still need to do more to level the playing field for local consumers.

"Lowering business IT costs will provide a big boost to small and medium sized enterprises – and we need to keep pushing to see this happen," Husic said. "As a member of the IT Pricing Inquiry, I’m looking forward to finding out what else Adobe plans to do to reduce its prices."