Adobe to Australia: Higher pricing is your 'personalised experience'

Adobe to Australia: Higher pricing is your 'personalised experience'

Summary: Adobe also continues to hide behind its Creative Cloud to justify why it's selling its physical and downloadable software products at a higher price in Australia.


Adobe restricts Australians from accessing its US-based website, which sells its products at a lower cost, in order provide a more "personalised experience" to users, and to track the company's revenue within the region, according to Adobe managing director for Australia and New Zealand Paul Robson.

Most of the ire regarding Adobe's software pricing is directed at the company's online store, which often charges a large premium in Australia. Considering that the software is digitally delivered and requires little logistical cost above and beyond serving other geographies, many consumers consider the prices in Australia as being inexplicably exorbitant.

Australians are unable to access Adobe's US website to buy the products at a lower cost, because they are automatically redirected to the company's local website.

It is important to geo-block and restrict Australians to Adobe's Australia-only website to provide a more "personalised experience" for consumers in different markets, Robson said at the IT pricing inquiry parliamentary hearing on Friday. It also allows the company to "capture the revenue that is relevant to the Australian market", and to make better business decisions, he said.

The higher cost of online products in Australia reflects the costs of running the local Adobe operations, the salary of staff, and investment into developing its local sales channels, Robson said. The cost of the development must also be recouped during the sale of software products, so that the company can support ongoing innovation to deliver to customers, he said.

For physical boxed products, freight and logistics costs are also considered, but the company is encouraging customers to move onto adopting its products through Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a subscription-based service that has Australian pricing comparable to the US, he claimed.

Robson continuously defended Adobe's high online store and boxed product pricing in Australia, claiming that it's to push users to the subscription-based Creative Cloud, which the company sees as the way of the future for software distribution.

It is important to note that Adobe only lowered the pricing of Creative Cloud access in Australia last month, after it was summonsed to appear before the IT pricing enquiry.

Adobe noted that 85 percent of its sales flow through local channel partners, and its online store is only one way that customers can purchase its products.

"Direct sales and sales through our channel partners are also very important for effectively supplying and servicing our Australian customer base and ensuring the success of the Australia business," Robson said in his written submission to the IT pricing inquiry.

At the parliamentary hearing, he said that customers can buy Adobe boxed products overseas, but that those products would not be covered by the company's local warranty policies.

Apple also appeared before the parliamentary hearing earlier on Friday. While the company said it has little control over pricing of digital content on iTunes, its hardware and software products have similar pricing across Australia and the US.

Topics: Software, Government AU

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Wow...

    Adobe couldn't think of Anything better of an excuse to be ripping off Australians for all these years? "Personalised experience", is the best that they could come up with? They deserve to be fined big time! And Microsoft and all the others who have also been ripping off Australians might want to think up a better reason (excuse) than what Adobe came up with.
    • Wrong article buddy

      Wrong article, the one your looking for is two posts down.
  • Apple continues to over–charge Aussies

    Apple Australia recently dropped the price of its Mac products, but the price differential between Aus and US stores remains firmly in the favour of the US, allowing for exchange rates and GST.

    A bottom end iMac costs $42 or 3% more in Australia, a 15" MacBook Pro costs $210 or 7% more and a 12–Core Mac Pro costs $542 or 13% more. And that's assuming a favourable exchange rate of AUD1.00 = USD1.03.
    Fred Fredrickson
    • Apple was also just recently forced to comply

      with the standard 2 year warranty instead of their 1 year apple care package.
    • About right

      Those prices are more like the real costs of doing business in Australia.
  • Decisions..................

    I think that maybe the Australian Government should impose an import duty on those companies who rely on these practices. Why, so as to foster their competition!

    Of course there is the other action we can all take.....right now i'm using pixelmator, have flash blocked in my browsers, etc. If you don't want to pay their prices : ) don't.
  • Give me a break!

    Of all the excuses that could be given this is the most insulting. Why not come out, be honest and just say "we'll charge what we think we can get away with"?
  • A & A pulling wool over our eyes.

    Adobe just lost a customer and Apple NEVER had me.
  • Yes some of the other channels are cost effective

    Adobe has it self to blame for the phenominal success of the hidden software delivery channel know as 'bit torrent".
  • In fairness

    Away from the legacy of distribution channels (which are expensive here) they did swiftly drop the price of the Creative Cloud and mine was backdated too. I'm wondering whether any serious user would be buying any Adobe software these days when the monthly subscription offers much better value with access to a broad suite of products that work well together. Not being paid to say this - just a happy Adobe customer.
  • Makes you wonder when pricing equals racism....

    ....doesnt it?

    Oh sure you can trot out all the reasons you like as to why what I say is rubbish and you are probably right but if Adobe were to sell to only WHITE Americans at the discounted price and non-white Americans at a higher price that would be racism. If they were to sell to, say, Americans at a much discounted price and yet to AFRICANS at a much higher price, wouldnt someone say RACISM seeing the country is mostly NOT white?

    Well, if Adobe were to say they dont want AUSTRALIANS to buy their products isnt that ALSO racism? So how is it NOT the EQUAL of racism to decide that AMERICA gets the product for SIGNIFICANTLY less than Australia when you can download it so postal charges and also charges fo9r manuals and boxes etc dont come into it?

    OK it isnt RACISM per se but it really IS actually "FISCAL RACISM" because they are charging MORE for the same product based on where you live! When the product is able to be downloaded that really doesnt fly - if the product is able to be downloaded, you sell to EVERYONE at the same price or you really ARE a FISCAL RACIST!

    BTW, they arent the ONLY American corporation doing this. I tried to buy an app for my Android device from Amazon and couldnt "because the seller chooses not to sell to your location" was the response. I contacted the seller and was told it was crap that where it is sold to is the decision of AMAZON! So I tried to download a FREE app from them and got the same crap and then went to Google Play Store and downloaded the exact same free app there with no problems, proving the point that even AMAZON decide, based on what country you live in, they will sell to you or not. So why are AUSTRALIANS not allowed to download an app from Amazon when you can get the exact same one on Google Play Store?

    Good question you think? Is it a sign of the times that AUSTRALIA is being held "fiscal hostage" for no good reason? I wonder what would happen if someone decided to take this to an international court - the entire thing, being cheated on prices and refused service because you are AUSTRALIAN? It is the same, to me, as a person being refused service because of skin colour!