UK will pay £1,000 more for Adobe CS3

UK will pay £1,000 more for Adobe CS3

Summary: Creativity applications maker has joined the list of software companies that are forcing unfair pricing structures on UK customers

TOPICS: Tech Industry

UK businesses will have to pay hundreds of pounds more than their US counterparts for Adobe's creative software, after the software supplier revealed the pricing for Creative Suite 3, launched on Tuesday.

Adobe's most comprehensive package, the Master Collection, costs a whopping $2,499 in the US, which means it should be available in the UK for less than £1,300 at current exchange rates. But Adobe prices the Master Collection at £2,313.58 in the UK — a premium of over £1,000.

UK customers are unable to buy software from Adobe's US site, meaning they must pay the higher sterling prices.

Businesses wishing to buy the other components of Creative Suite 3 must pay a similarly large premium compared to US customers.

The Design Standard package costs the equivalent of £609 in the US, with an actual selling price of £1,051.62 here: a premium of 73 percent. Design Premium costs the dollar equivalent of £914 in the US, but £1,655.58 in the UK — 81 percent more. And Production Premium retails for £863 in the US, but a whacking £1,655.58 over here: nearly double the price.

Adobe blamed the increased prices on the fact that the UK market is smaller than the US. "Adobe sets pricing in each market based on customer research, local market conditions and the cost of doing business. The costs of doing business in European markets are significantly higher per unit of revenue than in the US," the company said in a statement sent exclusively to ZDNet UK. "Pricing is higher in Europe on many goods, not just software. Adobe sets/evaluates pricing with each release, and has reduced up the delta [price differential] when possible."

The revelation over Adobe's prices follows just a month after a petition was created on the 10 Downing Street website to protest over unfair pricing of Microsoft Vista. Vista Ultimate, the premium version of Microsoft's new operating system, is priced in the UK at more than double the retail price in the US.

For clarity in this article, ZDNet UK excluded taxes from the currency calculations. Taxes vary between the US and the UK, and between different states within the US.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Ripping us off

    When I find that I am being 'overcharged' for products, primarily software, I tend not to buy them and usually seek alternatives.

    I would, for instance, have purchased Vista by now if it had been priced at the equivalent US price, but I'm probably one of many not rushing to buy.

    Although this 'overpricing' and extreme licence conditions and restrictions don't justify software piracy, they do go a long way towards assuaging conscience when running improperly licensed software. Meantime, we form an increasingly resentful view of the (mainly US) companies ripping us off.
    The Former Moley
  • No justification for price difference

    As a long-standing user of Macromedia products, I was looking to upgrade my current development suite to CS3, but having now compared the prices - I would have to pay double the US price - I am loath to do so.

    The difference in price cannot be justified by the reasons given in the report. Sure there are differences, but not enough to double the price. I really wonder what Adobe are doing - do they think us an easy target or a soft touch?
  • Piracy king

    The pricing is insane. An already overpriced product is made even more expensive. It's no wonder the Adobe suite CS3 will be the number 1 most pirated software in the world ever.

    You cannot look at an area and say - I want to make
  • No excuses

    I have to agree almost entirely with you Moley, MarkMcK and David. The only point I will beg to differ with is Moley's point that if you don't like it, you can buy different software. I'm quite a big fan of Adobe's software myself, and there really isn't much competition to chose from. It's like it or lump it, and Adobe knows this. I quoted for you in the article Adobe's reasons for the ramping up of UK prices. But I have to say I have the same opinion as you with regards to the credibility of their argument. It will be interesting to see what happens if sales drop through the floor.
  • Adobe rip-off

    Adobe's prices hike in European and their excuses for them , that they have to put on shows (like they do in the USA, eh ? ) or translating (e.g. from English into English ? ) or the costs of selling in Europe (identical software downloaded from the same server in the USA ? ) are proving to be giving them a very bad reputation in Europe. A comparison of prices can be seen here:
    There is a very popular petition at:
    which I urge anyone looking at this thread to sign and get others to do so as well.
    It appears that the backlash is making Adobe very nervous at their HQ, so the pressure needs to continue. One suggestion is that they be informed about the discontent at their promotion event in London in June.
  • Adobe cynicism

    Stokeymike - I think 'excuses' is the right word to describe Adobe's reasoning. Why not pressure them? We will continue to. Maybe Adobe is getting nervous. We'd like to be able to report some movement on these prices, as we don't think this is fair to UK users.

    Just interested to know which 'promotion event' you refer to? They can be a great time to lobby a company.
  • A time to lobby Adobe

    Adobe Live! will be at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London on the 5th and 6th June 2007. I have heard that there will be some rather pointed questions at this event concerning the UK pricing, so the more the merrier to make it very lively(!)

    The Adobe list of events can be found at:
    where there is a link to the registration page.
  • Adobe's summer event

    Thanks - it's an event which I'm sure will throw up some interesting conclusions...
  • Put pressure on Adobe and others via your MEP

    Better than attending an event hosted by Adobe - you may not get a chance to voice your opinion - write instead to your MEP about this uncompetitive and anti-European stance.

    Your MEP's details can be found at
  • New article by Danielle Libine

    Danielle Libine, the author of the petition has sent a letter to the European commission and written an excellent article (link below) describing the complaints against Adobe and refuting their justification for the price hike. As Danielle asks, please do not use the article without her permission.
  • A petition to No.10

    There is another petition, to the PM, concerning the price differential of software in the UK vs the USA. It is at:

    This has not had a lot of signatures, so could do with a few more.