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Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to be hauled before Australian price gouging committee

11 Feb 2013

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have been summoned by Australian parliament to testify at a public hearing investigating allegations of unfair pricing for IT in the country.

The Australian Committee on Infrastructure and Communications said it was concerned that customers in the country were paying more for hardware and software than those elsewhere.

"The Committee is looking at the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products," the Committee said in announcing the hearing.

"Australian consumers often pay much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries."

The hearings are set to take place on 22 March in Canberra and will be open to the general public.

Price gouging in the electronics market has long been a concern for government authorities in Australia. Parliamentary committees have expressed concern that firms have been inflating prices for Australian customers beyond those charged in other countries and regions.

For Apple, the hearing comes in the midst of another price-fixing scandal in the US. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) had brought suit against the company and several publishers over concerns that the pricing model of the book service allowed publishers to inflate prices and force other retailers to raise their own prices.

While the individual publishers have agreed to settlement deals, Apple has yet to strike up an agreement with the DoJ.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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