Lawmakers in Australia are taking aim at some of the biggest names in IT over their international price structure.
Members of Parliament have pushed for hearings on the higher prices customers in Australia are forced to pay for hardware and software within the country.
Lawmakers argue that in many cases, Australians pay hundreds of dollars more for products than those in the US.
While a number of companies have been named in the report, Apple and Microsoft have received special attention for their price policies.
Local reports show that for common applications such as Microsoft Office and Mac OS X, the disparities between the US and Australian retail price has added up to several hundred dollars.
In a letter reprinted by local media, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told MP Ed Husic that a preliminary inquiry into the matter had been approved.
''There is evidence to suggest that the innovative use of technology is not always matched with innovative new business models in the case of products and services distributed online,'' the letter read.
''I agree that Australian businesses and households should have access to IT software and hardware that is fairly priced relative to other jurisdictions... the global digital economy is likely to make it increasingly difficult to sustain business models that are based on a geographic carve-up of markets.''
The probe could add to Apple's legal headaches in Australia. The company is already facing a possible inquiry over its handling of the e-books market.
Anti-trust bodies around the world have begun investigations over possible price-fixing connected to the service and its practice of allowing publishers to set their own prices.
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