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Aussies hit with IBM price hike

IBM has confirmed it will raise Australian prices on a number of its products by 3 per cent effective from 1 January 2010, in response to what Big Blue described as "changing economic conditions and cost structures".

IBM has confirmed it will raise Australian prices on a number of its products by 3 per cent effective from 1 January 2010, in response to what Big Blue described as "changing economic conditions and cost structures".

"We have announced a 3 per cent general price increase effective January 1, 2010 for most products for most countries," the company said in a statement.

ZDNet.com.au understands the price rise will hit a number of IBM's software lines, such as its Lotus, Rational, WebSphere and Tivoli products.

The company is looking to increase prices by 5 per cent in the UK and South Africa, with Australia included in a batch of other countries to receive a 3 per cent rise. "Price changes on individual products may be made when new function is delivered or when the competitive environment changes," IBM said. "In addition, we may also periodically make price changes across our entire portfolio of products."

"Recent currency fluctuations, volatile by historical standards, which may be cyclical have impacted cross-currency price comparisons."

Like other international software groups operating in Australia such as Adobe, some of IBM's local prices are already substantially higher in real terms than the equivalent pricing in the US. For example, the company's site currently lists the Australian price for a WebSphere Application Server with developers' licence and 12 months support for AU$2027.55.

The same product is listed for US$868.00 in the United States on the same site, which amounts to AU$938.14 at current exchange rates, or a mark-up of 116 per cent.

When version 4 of Adobe's Creative Suite package, which includes its flagship Photoshop and InDesign packages, launched in Australia, the company defended its high local prices. And Australian buyers of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system will pay between AU$50 and AU$150 more in real terms than US residents for some versions of the software.

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