Adobe hits UK users with £1k premium for CS4

UK users of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 Master Collection will still pay an almost £1,000 premium over the US price, as was the case with the previous version

UK customers of Adobe's soon-to-be-released Creative Suite 4 will have to pay almost £1,000 more than their US counterparts for the software.

Users in some other parts of the world will face similar pricing discrepancies.

Adobe launched Creative Suite 4 (CS4) on 23 September. The company's UK website still lists CS4's release as pending, but details are available of the UK pricing, which is the same as the pricing for CS3 when it was launched in March last year.

The Master Collection flagship product will cost £2,313.58 in the UK, according to Adobe's pricelist. In the US, Adobe is charging $2,499 which, at today's exchange rate, equates to a price of around £1,358.

This means that UK users are being charged around a 70 percent premium, compared to US users.

The news may not come as a surprise to Adobe's UK customers, as roughly the same pricing discrepancy existed in 2007. In July last year, the CS3 Master Collection cost $2,499 in the US — the same price as the CS4 Master Collection — and £2,313.58 in the UK.

Last year, Adobe's managing director for Northern Europe, Craig Tegel, attempted to justify the high UK pricing on a variety of grounds, including the exchange rate between the UK and the US, and differences in the way the company was organised in the US and Europe. He said there had been "lots of discussion around the pricing" since the launch of CS3.

The pricing discrepancy cannot be partly accounted for by the addition of VAT in the UK; all the UK prices quoted by Adobe exclude VAT, which has to be added to the higher charge.

The pricing difference is similar for other CS4 editions. For example, the Design Premium version costs $1,799 (£978) in the US and £1,467.58 in the UK — roughly a 50 percent premium over the US price.

At the time of writing, Adobe had not responded to a request for comment.