Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have been summoned to appear before a committee hearing as part of a major inquiry into price gouging by tech companies.

The House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has been looking at the impacts of prices charged to Australian consumers for IT products, including computers, software, games and digital music.

“Australian consumers often pay much higher prices for hardware and software than people in other countries,” the Committee said in a statement.
Claims about price gouging of Australian consumers were made by organisations such as Choice and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.

Choice has welcomed the move by the parliamentary committee.

“Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off. We believe it’s time that these companies realise this and start pricing fairly in the Australian market,” said Choice CEO Alan Kirland.

Choice’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry last year found Australians have been paying on average 34 per cent more for software, 52 per cent more for iTunes music, 88 per cent more for Wii games and 41 per cent more for computer hardware than US consumers.

An Adobe spokesperson confirmed with TT the company received a summons from the Committee.

“Adobe will cooperate with the Committee as we have done since the Inquiry began,” the spokesperson said.

TT also contacted Apple but the company refused to comment at this stage.

The public hearing will take place in Canberra on March 22, 2013.