Apple shifts blame for higher costs

Apple has blamed global music labels and movie studios for making it more expensive for Australians to download music, television shows, and movies than for people in the US.

And the global technology giant knows Australians are angry about it.

“We are hearing comments in Australia that, frankly, make us uncomfortable,” Apple VP for Australia, New Zealand and South Asia Tony King said.

“We are acutely aware of headlines that might be reported in a newspaper, or a letter that we may receive from a customer that is concerned that a song price on iTunes in Australia would be, or may be, more than the (song price) in the US.”

King told a parliamentary committee in Canberra on Friday that the price Apple charged Australians to download digital content was determined by arrangements with the music labels and movie studios.

These content owners had different charges for content distributed in different countries, he said.

“The cards, so to speak, are in the hands of the folks who own the content,” King told the committee.

“We would urge the committee to talk to the content owners to understand why there may be differential pricing.”

King said exchange rates, local freight costs, import duties and local sales taxes also influenced the prices for computers, laptops, tablet, and mobile devices.

The committee will also hear from Adobe and Microsoft later on Friday.

AAP

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