UK will pay £1,000 more for Adobe CS3

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

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.

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