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Australia fights with Apple on pricing


Apple apparently hasn't answered back the Australian government just yet about its query this week on pricing for both apps and hardware. The Australian Parliament, including Labor Minister Ed Husic, has been knocking on Apple's door trying to figure out why the company charges more for its products in that country. Originally the issue was partially based on the difference between the American dollar and the Australian currency, but in more recent times, that difference has narrowed, to the point where they're only a few cents' difference. Apple already brought down app prices once this year, but those prices are still relatively high, and the company hasn't moved on hardware prices, sometimes selling computers for hundreds of dollars more than they'd sell for the US.

Apple isn't the only company with higher prices down under -- Australians also face higher prices on video game consoles and their software (which is another issue that the local government is fighting with companies about). A certain percentage of this is politicians rabble-rousing, I think, but Husic is at least threatening more consequential action, suggesting that it might be "time for our pricing watchdog, the ACCC, to take up the case for long-suffering consumers and carry out a formal inquiry." Certainly in the case of digitally distributed software, there shouldn't be a reason for this phenomenon, which Aussies themselves are calling the "tech tax."

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