Apple and Microsoft are among a few tech companies going before the Australian Parliament this week, asked to explain what many are seeing as price gouging in the Australian market. Here in the US, for example, Apple's Mac OS X Server 10.6 sells for $499, but in Australia, the same software sells for $699. Similarly, iTunes albums that sell for $9.99 in the US often sell for more than $20 overseas, despite the Australian and US dollar being less than a few cents different.
In the past, electronics companies have claimed that Australia is a smaller market to deal with, and that setting up support structures and other delivery systems there raise costs. But Parliamentary representatives are saying those excuses aren't good enough, and are inviting Apple, Microsoft, and others to represent themselves in Australia this week.