Adobe has taken the wrapping off Creative Suite 6 and its new Creative Cloud products, but, once again, Australians are being forced to pay more.
Creative Suite 6 (CS6) is the latest incarnation of Adobe's design software suite, and includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Flash Professional.
The price for the all-encompassing Master Collection CS6 costs US$2599 in the United States, but Australians will pay $1350 more, at $3949. For the Production Premium model, US customers will pay US$1899, while Australian customers will pay $2886. For the basic Design Standard package, Australians pay $676 more than their US counterparts, at $1975 compared to US$1299.
The Creative Cloud is a 12-month subscription service with a monthly charge that lets users access the full range of Adobe CS6 products to download, and includes a 20GB Dropbox online file-sync service, as well as Lightroom, Edge and Muse tools for web-page design, Touch apps for tablets and website hosting.
In the United States, a 12-month subscription will set customers back US$50 per month, but in Australia, this costs $62.99.
ZDNet Australia asked Adobe to explain the reason why the Australian prices are so much higher, taking into account the current exchange rate and the addition of the goods and services tax (GST). Adobe said the pricing takes into consideration the "costs of doing business in different regions and customer research that assesses the value of the product in the local market". The company said it has been listening to customer feedback, and said that the Creative Cloud product price was reduced in response.
"Annual subscribers paid AU$199 [per] month for a subscription to Master Collection CS5.5, and now pay only AU$62.99 [per] month for CCM. That's a reduction of 68 per cent. In other words, Adobe is delivering more value at a much lower price."
Adobe has come under fire in the past for the premium it charges to Australians for its flagship software packages, and it has gained the attention of Labor MP Ed Husic, who is working on launching a parliamentary inquiry into the so-called Australia tax.
Husic told ZDNet Australia that it is "completely outrageous" for Adobe to charge these prices.
"These companies do have to answer for the way they've been ripping off customers. We've tried to be reasonable with them and give them an opportunity to explain a broad framework for pricing, but they've been completely unresponsive, and I don't think it's good enough."
Last week, Husic asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at the National Broadband Network (NBN) inquiry whether it plans to investigate the price gouges, and commissioner Ed Willett said that the ACCC is "pretty keen to ensure that those sorts of differences are not supported by the contraventions of the Act".
Despite Willett's earlier comments, ACCC spokesperson Erin Polmear told the Daily Telegraph today that it is limited in what it can do to stop this type of price gouging.
"The ACCC is constrained by the legislation it administers, and there are no provisions in the Act that prohibit this type of conduct," she said.
Husic said that this contradicts what Willett said in the NBN inquiry last week.
"I'm surprised the ACCC was quoted [as saying that]. Ed Willett from the ACCC gave a completely different view," he said.