Adobe Drops Prices One Day After Australian Inquiry

By Jordan Mammo email: , Feb 12, 2013 12:25 PM EST

Adobe is dropping the price of its products in Australia.

The move comes only one day after the company, along with Apple and Microsoft, received a subpoena from the Australian government to explain its high prices. Software created by all three companies retails for significantly more cash on the island nation than it does in other countries, which prompted lawmakers to summon executives that have routinely declined to appear in public hearings.

"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," said the company in a statement to the Financial Review.

"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."

While any price drop is better than the status quo, the reduction only applies to individual subscribers to Adobe's Cloud-based services. The same inflated rates will be maintained for businesses, as well as individuals purchasing packaged software from retailers, at least for the time being.

Still, the announcement was welcomed by Labor Party Representative Ed Husic, who's been a strong opponent of price gouging by software makers, even if he expects to see more action in the future.

"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."

The investigation into Adobe, Apple and Microsoft began last July, and a public hearing is scheduled for March 22. The companies' executives, who have refused to appear publicly up to this point, have justified their prices in the past through written statements citing the high cost of salaries, rent and shrinking profit margins.

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