US software giant Adobe has bowed to public pressure and slashed the price of some of its products for Australian customers a day after being ordered to front a parliamentary committee hearing in Canberra.
The move will be seen as a partial victory for consumer advocates and the politicians behind the Federal IT Pricing inquiry, which has been investigating allegations that US technology companies price gouge Australian customers.
In a statement seen by The Australian Financial Review, Adobe has pledged to cut the price of its Creative Cloud suite so that local users pay the same price as US consumers. The company is known for its Photoshop image editing suite and other software. Where individual customers previously paid $62.99 per month for an annual subscription to the online version of its full software package, they will now pay $49.99 per month. Access to individual software has also been cut to $19.99 per month.
But businesses will continue to be charged inflated prices and more traditional software sold through retailers will be offered at the same rates.
“As Adobe continues to attract membership to its cloud offerings, it is evolving its product offering to provide increased value to subscribers, including new pricing for customers in Australia and New Zealand,” the company said in a statement.
“Creative Cloud membership pricing in Australia for individuals has been reduced to AU$49.99 on an annual subscription per month for new and current customers, effective immediately. Month to month pricing was $94.99 per month [and is now] $74.99 per month.”
The price change comes a day after the Federal IT Pricing inquiry summonsed Adobe, Apple and Microsoft
before a public hearing in Canberra on March 22 after all three companies refused to attend voluntarily. Adobe and Microsoft
had previously offered individual submissions.
The AFR can also reveal that Adobe’s global chief executive Shantanu Narayen will open a major new office in Sydney on Thursday with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. The office will be used to manage operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Senator Conroy was the minister who first requested the inquiry in May 2012.
Labor MP Ed Husic, who has been a driving force behind the inquiry, welcomed Adobe’s price cut.
“Lowering business IT costs will provide a big boost to small and medium sized enterprises – and we need to keep pushing to see this happen,” he said. “As a member of the IT Pricing Inquiry, I’m looking forward to finding out what else Adobe plans to do to reduce its prices.”