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Software Price Gap Between the US and Europe

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the we'll-trade-cheap-software-for-cheaper-cheese dept.

Software 1003

Kensai7 writes "A quick comparison between same versions of mainstream software sold in the USA and the EU markets show a big difference in the respective price tags. If you want to buy online, let's say, Adobe's Dreamweaver CS3, you'll have to pay $399 if you live in the States, but a whopping E570 (almost $900 in current exchange rates!) if you happen to buy it in Germany. Same story for Microsoft's newest products: Expression Web 2 in America costs only $299 new, but try that in Italy and they will probably ask you no less than E366 ($576!). How can such an abyssal difference be explained? I understand there are some added costs for the localized translated versions, but I also thought the Euro was supposed to be outbuying the dollar. Where's the catch?"

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1003 comments

Because they can (5, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383461)

There's no complicated reason, companies charge more for products in europe because they can.

Re:Because they can (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383621)

Obligatory:

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least my software is more free"

Real question: Why can they? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383637)

The reason is that the companies create artificial monopolies by creating sole distributorships in each country. On top of that, name/brand recognition goes a long way in semi-First World countries like those in Europe, so something like DreamWeaver is going to gather a lot more interest than XMLSpy (or what have you). So you have a market focused on one product, and only one supplier of that product. The math is pretty simple; consumers lose out to asymmetric market forces.

It's not just "because they can", but it's actually the market that has created those conditions. If Europeans would wake up to the alternatives (like China and India have), software prices would be much more reasonable.

Re:Real question: Why can they? (0)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383967)

Pfft. Every company has a monopoly in its own product. Microsoft is the sole source of its goods in the US. If it sells a distributorship in another country, that distributor only steps into Microsoft's shoes.

The reason software prices are higher in Europe is that price and cost are not related. Europeans have more money (when converted into dollars) and can thus spend more of that money on software. Supply and Demand at work.

Re:Because they can (4, Informative)

maclizard (1029814) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383743)

I agree that there is no complicated reason, but there is reason more than 'because they can'. Example: Italy doesn't want money leaving there economy, so they tax such imports heavily to offset the economic loss. On the other side, US software companies know the game and charge more yet because there aren't many alternatives, thus driving taxes even higher.

Re:Because they can (4, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383761)

Spot on. I work for a technology company that sells both hardware and software in the US and Europe, and our European prices are nearly 80% higher than our US prices, which means that even at absolute values our equipment costs more Euros than Dollars. Why do we price our products so high? Because we can. We found that Europeans are much less price sensitive and much more willing to be early adopters; in the US our customers know what features they need and are unwilling to pay for anything extra we throw into the mix. You could almost say that in Europe people purchase new technology for the sake of technology, while in the US people view technology as mere work tools.

Re:Because they can (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383893)

You could almost say that in Europe people purchase new technology for the sake of technology, while in the US people view technology as mere work tools.

So you are saying that the newn things you implement are useless?
One could also say that Europe sees the advantage earlier while Americans stick with what they have for better or for worse.

Yes and No (4, Interesting)

theolein (316044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383817)

I think that the real reason is because they can, and we dumbass fuckers are (somewhat) prepared to pay for it (piracy is higher here than in the US).

I have personally written to Adobe complaining about the massive price differences, and Adobe wrote back claiming it was because of localisation costs (translating software plus documentation into 20 languages can be pricey).

BUT, the bastards are lying. The localisation of any piece of major software is now a matter of course. It's planned in right from the very beginning.

To the wankers from Adobe reading this forum, I think it's about time the EU took a look at this practice.

Re:Yes and No (4, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383899)

Still, new products usually appear in English first and if there's demand for them; the localized versions appear later.

I expect the UK gets shafted because they seem to spread the cost of creating the "Euro Version" across all countries; even though it's practically a no-op to convert from US to UK english.

Support also adds to it. Most large software companies have UK support staff, and that adds to the cost.

Taxes add a little more. The UK has 17.5% VAT built into the price; if you have to pay sales tax in the US then it's added at checkout.

But mostly I think it's because they can and because the market bears it

Re:Because they can - segment the market (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383947)

its an old story: You enforce that US retailer can not sell to other countries. Then you step up the price. Or you drop it: compare also prices asked for the same products in China!

Or $0 if you get it from https://thepiratebay.org (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383473)

How can such an abyssal difference be explained?

Greed? Well, two can play that game.

Re:Or $0 if you get it from https://thepiratebay.o (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383669)

hurrah! lets take everything for free!!!!!!!!!! information wants 2 b free!!!!!!!1111111

Whats that dad? you lost your job working at the software company today? why???????? how do I get my allowance now????????????

Lobbyists (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383475)

All the money they are spending trying to make other countries respect our copyrights has to be made up somewhere. Plus, because they can.

Taxes, for one thing. (3, Insightful)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383477)

Probably won't make up for all of the difference, but I expect that the US prices don't include sales taxes etc...

Sales tax alone doesn't make up for it (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383547)

Probably won't make up for all of the difference, but I expect that the US prices don't include sales taxes etc...

Value added tax, the EU counterpart to sales tax, definitely doesn't make up for all of it. As I write this, Google says [google.com] the euro is 57 percent higher than the dollar, but a typical VAT in Europe is about 20 percent. Or have European governments enacted Brazil-style prohibitive tariffs on imports of copies of proprietary software?

Re:Taxes, for one thing. (4, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383561)

Probably a little bit of that, a little bit of benificial up-rounding, and a lot of not adjusting prices down as the dollar falls (I bet the EUR prices were set when the USD was worth more than EUR, and not adjusted since.

Re:Taxes, for one thing. (1)

Otter Popinski (1166533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383791)

That would have been around 8 years ago, and the dollar has never been worth that much against the Euro. I think it peaked below $1.25.

Re:Taxes, for one thing. (1)

Otter Popinski (1166533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383847)

That would have been around 8 years ago, and the dollar has never been worth that much against the Euro. I think it peaked below $1.25.

Oops... I meant €1.25.

Re:Taxes, for one thing. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383925)

But that's only part of the difference. They have ex VAT prices on the website (most companies that sell to businesses do this because businesses don't pay VAT), and that's still 479. Still substantially more than the US cost.

Law of Economics Applies... (2, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383479)

Thou wilt be charged what thou art willing to pay for it.

Quite simply Adobe, Microsoft and probably others have determined that Europe will pay that kind of money for their software where the United States won't pay that much, and have computed the optimal price point right there. Sad but true Europe.

Having said that, time to start an import/export business with cheap software in the United States going to Europe :-)

Re:Law of Economics Applies... (4, Interesting)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383579)

Thou wilt be charged what thou art willing to pay for it.

That's not quite true of course. Anyone who had the choice of paying $1 or $100 dollars for the exact same product would pay the lower price.

However, we are allowing ourselves to be trapped legally. It costs the same to make product X in the US, as it does in the UK, as it does in Russia - if that product is intangible. But we are not allowed to buy software from Russia at 1/10th of the cost. Global companies are allowed to go there and sell, but we cannot go there, as consumers, and buy.

If we could buy from any market, we would buy from the cheapest. So this is not truly 'charging what the market will bear'. This is 'forcing the highest possible price for (sometimes necessary) products in every market we can reach, and tying the hands of the consumer on that.

It's another example of the disproportionate price fixing that we face in the digital age.

Re:Law of Economics Applies... (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383717)

Thou wilt be charged what thou art willing to pay for it.

That's not quite true of course. Anyone who had the choice of paying $1 or $100 dollars for the exact same product would pay the lower price.

The saying generally means you will be charged the highest price that they think you'd pay for it, not whatever price you actually want to pay for it.

Re:Law of Economics Applies... (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383795)

The saying generally means you will be charged the highest price that they think you'd pay for it, not whatever price you actually want to pay for it.

Yes, obviously. But what I'm saying is that there IS a choice, (different countries, different prices) but that we are artificially being kept from making that choice. That somewhat removes the 'willingness' from the equation. If you need it, you have to pay it. They're offsetting costs against how much it would cost you to cope without it, not how much you would pay in order to have it in a free market.

Explanation... (1)

RecoveredMarketroid (569802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383485)

How can such an abyssal difference be explained? I understand there are some added costs for the localized translated versions, but I also thought the Euro was supposed to be outbuying the dollar.

Because products often aren't priced based on cost, or based on a sense of fairness, but rather on what the market will bear...

You answered your own question (3, Insightful)

awitod (453754) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383493)

The cost of localizing everything is not inconsequential. You can't just run it through a translator and go and you still have to do acceptance testing on the localized version. The number of German or Itallian consumers is small compared to those who use English and the price reflects the marginal production costs per unit.

Re:You answered your own question (5, Insightful)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383575)

I see... so why does it still cost stupid prices in Ireland and the UK where little or no localisation needs to be carried out?

Re:You answered your own question (4, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383803)

... little or no localisation needs to be carried out?

There is some, at least. In the US, that would be localization.

Re:You answered your own question (1)

holizz (737615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383819)

The last time I used Windows it had options related to "colors", and the last time I used a Mac there was a "trash can" on the desktop, so I'd argue that no localisation is carried out in a lot of commercial software.

Re:You answered your own question (3, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383595)

The number of German or Itallian consumers is small compared to those who use English and the price reflects the marginal production costs per unit.

Those costs are still a tiny fraction of the actual development costs...

Re:You answered your own question (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383873)

The number of German or Itallian consumers is small compared to those who use English and the price reflects the marginal production costs per unit.

Those costs are still a tiny fraction of the actual development costs...

Especially if you plan for locali(s|z)ation from the outset, instead of attempting to do it after the fact.

Re:You answered your own question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383613)

$500 more for Dreamweaver? What are they doing, translating each copy individually?

Ireland and the UK? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383619)

The number of German or Itallian consumers is small compared to those who use English and the price reflects the marginal production costs per unit.

Ireland uses euros, and the UK uses pounds, which as I understand it are in near lockstep with euros. Both countries have English as an official language.

Re:Ireland and the UK? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383755)

GB£ are in lockstep with Euros? Not at any point I've seen and we try to keep it that way.

Also, we may still need translations of the software in the UK. After all we need American replaced with proper English!

Re:You answered your own question (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383653)

We still pay the same for the English version..so the hell it is localisation!

Re:You answered your own question (1)

mathew7 (863867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383659)

That could explain the localized versions, but the English versions cost the same (as the localized ones). Actually, I saw in my country (Romania) on some websites the same version (OEM) was almost 50% of the price of the English version (I, personally, am against localized versions, but that's because I grew up with english).

Re:You answered your own question (2, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383677)

and the price reflects the marginal production costs per unit.

So it's free of charge then?

The marginal production costs per unit are almost zero. All they have to do is burn a CD and post it to you. Usually you don't even get a paper manual. There are some costs for support, I admit.

Production costs for software are almost entirely fixed costs, and once paid you can ship one copy or a million copies of the program for pretty much the same cost.

Re:You answered your own question (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383837)

It is true that localization is not a trivial cost, but I don't think that is the answer.

Part of it is simply charging what the market will bear - no surprise there, and any rational company will do the same.

But the other factor is that they most likely sell through distributors or foreign subsidiaries, and those organizations get a cut of the revenue as well. So instead of all the money from the sale going to Adobe in the US, the local distributor probably takes somewhere in the range of 25%-40% of the sales price.

Its actually more complicated than that - in the US, Adobe will sell units to one of the big distributors like Ingram, who in turn resells to Best Buy, NewEgg, etc. Ingram gets a substantial cut.

For foreign distributors, Adobe US sells to Adobe Italia, who in turn sells to something like Ingram Italia, who sells to Best Buy Italia. Everyone gets a slice along the way.

Re:You answered your own question (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383851)

If they could reduce the development cost, would they pass that on to the consumer rather than increasing their profits?

Localized versions (2, Interesting)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383503)

I understand there are some added costs for the localized translated versions

To make it even worse, as far as I'm concerned they can either keep their localized versions and just give me the US English one, OR make their app multilingual and just ship one version. (I'd prefer the latter option). Apple does this for most (all?) of their software and it's great. I can have an English language version if I log into my account and a Dutch version on a guest account if someone who doesn't speak English should want to use my computer.

They have to do the translations anyway, so why not ship all translations with every copy. This also saves on costs for making several master CD's, boxes, etc.

Re:Localized versions (1)

kfx (603703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383827)

Because translations are frequently paid for by (and as a result owned by) the regional distributor.

Unless the developer or home-region publisher specifically gets rights to take back the translations (and distributors are generally not eager to do that), or pays to have them done themselves, they can't distribute them.

taxes (1, Redundant)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383507)

One thing often forgotten (which doesn't explain the examples, but many others) is that in Europe, prices are always (AFAIK) given with taxes, while in the US they are (AFAIK) without. Since sales tax in Germany is 19%, that explains quite a bit of difference already.

Re:taxes (5, Interesting)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383723)

One thing often forgotten (which doesn't explain the examples, but many others) is that in Europe, prices are always (AFAIK) given with taxes, while in the US they are (AFAIK) without. Since sales tax in Germany is 19%, that explains quite a bit of difference already.

Ah, yes. The 'rock band' excuse.

TCO rock band video game USA: 85 UK pounds.

TCO rock band video game UK: 185 pounds.

Explanation? Value Added Tax (17.5%) and 'shipping'.

Shipping?!? Whip out your bullshit detectors now folks, because these things are made in CHINA.

Re:taxes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383867)

Since sales tax in Germany is 19%, that explains quite a bit of difference already.

Dreamweaver US = $399
German Sales Tax 19% = $76
Total Difference = $501

Please explain the other 85% of the price difference. Also, don't call 15% of the difference "quite a bit of difference".

Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383509)

Well, you have import taxes (tariffs), Value Added Tax and probably the prices still set based on the old exchange rates.

VAT and old prices... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383513)

A: European prices usually include a very high VAT (sales) tax, that can be 10-20%.

B: The european prices were set before the dollar went down the toilet.

Well... (1)

xmarkd400x (1120317) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383519)

There's probably a lot going on that isn't covered. Tariffs, taxes, and other items. Microsoft probably has to get an entire location in Europe as well as local lawyers and all that good stuff to protect themselves. It doesn't come cheap.

Abyssal = abysmal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383521)

Otherwise I think you're saying the difference goes down an abyss.

Re:Abyssal = abysmal? (2, Informative)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383963)

The usage is, oddly enough for Slashdot, correct, though uncommon. Abyssal, in addition to meaning abyss-like, means unfathomable. Plus it raises the image of an abyss, which is rather appropriate, given the discussion. On the other hand, abysmal is much less appropriate because that simply describes the situation as being bad, rather than emphasizing the vast difference in price.

markets (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383527)

How can such an abyssal difference be explained?

Very easily. The US and Europe are different markets. Analytics for pricing have shown time and again that Europeans and Britons are willing to pay more for consumer electronics and for software. Hence, suppliers charge more.

As time goes on and the "global" market homogenizes, this will change. But until then, pricing decisions based upon local markets will continue to create situations like those described in the summary.

As for the reasons that Europeans are willing to pay more, any input I'd have would be speculation. The fact that the development of most commercial software happened in the US (historically, not necessarily presently) probably has something to do with it.

Re:markets (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383787)

Also, the USD has dropped very quickly against the Euro. The Euro price hasn't gone up, so the companies are milking the difference as much as they can. Soon pressures will force the prices to become closer. The same is happening in Canada.

Re:markets (1)

MROD (101561) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383811)

It doesn't help that the EU condone the monopolies by making "grey" imports from outside the EU illegal, if the companies whose products they are wish them not to be imported.

Hence, the consumer has no control of the market, they are forced to buy at the inflated prices and there's no competitive force to lower the prices available.

Re:markets (1)

vittal (52825) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383931)

Not sure where you get the idea that "Europeans are willing to pay more".

Living in the UK, I am royally pissed that Adobe ramp their charges up so much here. Thankfully I not forced by my job to buy their products, because I'm simply not willing to pay their extortionate prices.

Its even more annoying that they come out with some cock-and-bull story about extra translations. Errr, hello - in the UK, Adobe needs to support precisely one language (English) as opposed to 3 for North America (English, French and Spanish).

There may well be some additional cost due to support issues or running European branches (always assuming their support farms are not off in India), but in no way does it justify the huge additional markup.

The fact is that its pure price gouging that they enforce by having practices such as preventing downloads from their US stores.

Thats funny ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383531)

I Heard you can get it from P2P for the same price world wide ... I don't know where you get YOUR sources.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383533)

Isn't it more like a result of the weakening dollar?

'E' is not a currency symbol (0, Offtopic)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383537)

Sorry to be pedantic, but it's EUR or Euro or that funny lowercase 'e' that my keyboard does not type.

The main reason prices are higher in Europe is that the market for translated software has less competition and people place a higher value on getting stuff in their own language than in US English.

Also, maybe because Europeans are nicer and less willing to complain when they get ripped off.

Anyhow, the price reflects the market, not the product.

Re:'E' is not a currency symbol (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383641)

Your keyboard doesn't have an &, e, u, r, o, or ; buttons?

Damn, you need to upgrade! Still, I agree with you about the Euro symbol; it's not *that* hard to use on Slashdot is it?

Just let me check... € - oh... is that right? :D

But then again, you couldn't type it, and yet you still pedanticised* the summary :) - That's some nice work!!

* sometimes i like to make words up.

Re:'E' is not a currency symbol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383649)

If you'd paid a bit more for a fancy euro keyboard correctly localised to your environment you'd have the spiffy euro key â :D

Re:'E' is not a currency symbol (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383693)

Also, maybe because Europeans are nicer and less willing to complain when they get ripped off.

You should really start. Have you looked at those prices? Talk about an ass-raping.

Re:'E' is not a currency symbol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383705)

Slashdot doesn't seem to encode properly.

This is a Euro sign: â

But it comes out as the wrong character when I preview the comment.

Anyways. It's ALT+2 on OSX and ALTGR+4 on Windows.

Inflation/Deflation (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383543)

A possibility might be that the companies simply never took the changed exchange rate into account.

In 2001 the exchange rate for USD/EUR was 1/1.5, now it's 1.5/1, so that's pretty much the whole difference explained right there.

So basically people in Europe are/were used to paying that price, and that hasn't changed, the only thing that changed is the exchange rate.

Re:Inflation/Deflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383887)

Except that it didn't change anywhere near that much. It was 1.1 something when the currency was launched, and is now 1.6 in 2008. So that only explains a 45% change.

Not only software... (5, Interesting)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383551)

For example, the game Rock Band for Xbox 360. It costs USD 150 (~ euro 95) in USA (on Amazon.com) and SEK 1990 in Sweden (euro 211 or USD 332). It's more than double the price!!! Did we get anything extra? NO! Oh yes, sorry, we had to WAIT more than 6 _months_ for a European release, which didn't bring anything new/better compared to the American version. FU EA!

Re:Not only software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383721)

And you bought it anyway.

sheesh (5, Funny)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383565)

were not that dumb

http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]

Re:sheesh (5, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383737)

you realise all the stuff on there is only made because they rely on honest people buying copies right?

You might think its cool to just leech off of honest people, but some of us would have a real problem with that.

or did you think pixies from outer space made all the software?

Where's the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383581)

There is no catch, it's a rip off...

catch? (1)

rozz (766975) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383607)

there is no catch, there is only greed and shamelessness ... or in other words, normal business.

Its a gouge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383617)

In Canada, most everything is priced in a similar manner, mostly its the taxes, and then the middleman want a larger cut...

history, operating costs, fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383625)

Its probably largely historical. Prices are set based on a currency exchange at the time and they rarely change. Even the core exchange rate was probably fixed early on. Add to that taxes, increased operating costs, support costs, localization, and overhead (shipping, etc) and you run into what probably drove the initial pricing. Once the initial price is set then people (sales execs) are loath to change the price because it is on so many lists including those of large institutions (banks, government, education, etc) where it is not only hard to change the price because of the way that these institutions work but also because of the discounts they receive. Once you give something at one price it is hard to go back so lowering the price is something that they hate doing. Add to this the added revenue of the current price and there is little incentive to change pricing if sales are good. Also the holding companies (the headquarters) uses these fluctuations in price as a natural hedge against exchange rate induced losses so they don't want to change it either.

Socialism (2, Funny)

Orleron (835910) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383635)

European countries add taxes onto goods to pay for all the people who don't want to get a job and earn a living.

Re:Socialism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383729)

And that doesn't account for even half of the price gap. Guess again.

taxes taxes taxes (1)

dodgedodge (166122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383647)

Yeah, how much of the European prices include VAT, etc?

Don't single out software. Go ahead and price other things in Europe relative to here.

Re:taxes taxes taxes (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383801)

Lets see:

Petrol - cheaper in the US
Food - cheaper in the US
Consumer electronics - cheaper in the US ...

Yep, definitely a trend there ;)

Why do you think a barrel of oil has gone up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383651)

The reason the price of oil as gone up is because the value of the dollar has gone down. The same is true for software.

Consider it a trade off... (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383661)

Consider it a trade off... for a lot of industries, such as medicine, the US ends up paying the cost of R&D plus the cost of the med while a lot of countries end up paying just for the cost of the med.

It's because of all the Free Software (5, Funny)

vengeful (734172) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383667)

Because Free Software is more popular in Europe, the commercial software companies must make up for the lost stales by increasing prices.
If those damn users would only stop using Free Software, the price of commercial software could come down to a more reasonable level.

Damn lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383679)

Windows XP N --> Someone has to pay for the lawyers.

Import costs, tarrifs, etc. (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383701)

Don't forget trade tariffs and import costs on a high ticket item (er sorry, 'high ticket license fee') there would be a proportional tariff (even more so depending on it it his certain categories that a country to trying to regulate trade-wise.

As most consumer education courses say, if it's too expensive - just don't buy it. And there are alternatives.

No, thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383703)

In way or another, the difference can be explained. However this didn't help them in my case. At some point we wanted to purchase Dreamweaver. I used to remember the US price but the online Store in Germany showed me a ~700 EUR price tag for the English version. I didn't buy it and looked for other software and found something else which worked for us.

Nothing can explain the price difference: tax and localization expenses can not add up to a 200%-%300 difference. What they are doing is not moral, people who are aware of this are not happy with that.

Some of the reasons (0, Redundant)

joemod (1068624) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383731)

1) As far as I know European countries use VAT. US does not 2) Increased cost for operation 3) Regulation of EU which forces products to be sold on same price across EU 4) High profit margin + monopoly

The catch? (4, Informative)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383749)

Simple. They can get away with it.

Sure, the US price probably doesn't include VAT while the European price does. So let's take those 20% (roughly) of the European prices: that will be $720 for Dreamweaver (1.8 times US cost), and $460 for Expression Web 2 (1.5 times US cost). And I've checked with a local retailer; those are prices for non-localized versions, so that excuse does not apply.

The catch is that we are being ripped off, plain and simple.

Incidentally, the same is true for books. Books are ridiculously overpriced here, and for scientific or technical books it is _always_ _much_ cheaper to order them from Amazon than to buy them from a local bookstore. Even including transportation cost, the difference can be well over a factor two!

The silver lining is of course, that Amazon sells software as well...

All the market can bear (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383767)

Well they have all the money now so they get to pay the price!

You go where the money is. The economy in the U.S. is spiraling down. The EU is doing well. So you charge those that have the money and take what little money those that don't have it too.

Welcome to economics (4, Interesting)

jwiegley (520444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383775)

Same items in different countries do not cost the same amount when taking into account only the exchange rates.

There are several reasons for this. A couple that are easy to explain are:

  1. The price of a good is what the market will bear. If the people are willing to pay more in the UK then you can expect the price to be more in the UK. (And as an American living in Britain for the past month... man can I tell you the Brits are willing to bend over and take it.)
  2. The prices of products are affected by taxes. The prices you quote for the UK have something like a 17% "Value added tax" reflected in the price. The US prices you quote do not reflect possible sales tax which can be as high as 9.4%. While those two don't account for the entire price difference for Dreamweaver there are other corporate taxes and trade tariffs that remain unaccounted for.

Do you think national healthcare is free?? Where do you think these countries get the money for that and other social[ist] programs? They tax the hell out of companies, imports (and individuals)

Don't worry. With the current US economy suffering from too much spending, already high corporate taxes, soon to be way higher taxes, mismanaged and over-promised social[ist] programs, a falling dollar and interest rates designed to trick people into thinking everything is ok while causing inflation to skyrocket it won't be long before the prices you mention even out for us. Maybe even compared to Zimbabwe.

In Canada, too. (4, Informative)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383777)

It's the same thing with Canada; identical products will cost 10% to 25% more, and in some cases, like automobiles, manufacturers will go to extreme lenghts to insure that canadians cannot buy stuff in the US and import it themselves.

And no, in Canada too, prices are quoted without taxes.

Ahem.. (0, Troll)

Technopolymath (1335003) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383815)

Sorry.. we here in the US were not given the memo that we had to give you things for cheaper. You see, with stuff getting expensive (remember we're fighting a war against the Islamic Jihad?), we've had to make it up in other ways. I don't know which is better... knowing that there's nothing you little socialist twats can do about it, or the fact that you little artsy-fartsy types are particularly impacted by this. Then, the really funny part came to me - it takes you more MONEY to get our product, and your little socialist experiment over there says that money is bad ergo you don't need it. Quit your bitching and pay the fee, or don't use it. Or, develop the alternative.

perspective? (1)

mattmarlowe (694498) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383891)

I thought Europeans paid less in general for medicine/etc (Ensuring that the USA drug companies get high profits from the US Market and allowing US consumers to subsidize health care for the rest of the world). The papers in the USA are full of stories about European companies buying US companies on the cheap due to the current low exchange rate. Suddenly, we are all supposed to be outraged that there is a discrepancy in software pricing? If this was a big issue wouldn't whatever office that was responsible for overseeing trade between the USA and Europe be trying to fix it? Or, have they consciously made the decision to let certain things go in exchange for others? Without a comprehensive review of the situation, this article is more of a troll than a serious source of discussion.

Geographic restrictions over use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383901)

Can a software bought in US be used in Europe? Are there any restrictions in the license over the geographic use?

Euro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383917)

Since their Euro is so strong, we make up for it by overcharging them.

Screw the euro.

Value Added Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383923)

The US price does not include tax. The EU prices reflex the value added tax of the county it is sold in.

Its the way they convert (4, Insightful)

Joker1980 (891225) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383943)

In the last 5 to 10 years the conversion has usually gone something like:

$1 = £1 = 1 Euro
Nice and simple just the way they like it.

The US dollar has been falling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383951)

But that doesn't magically change income levels in europe, so why drop prices? You charge what the market will pay.

The difference is so large because the US dollar is going down the toilet, the prices will get closer from the other direction though. The US price will rise as the inflation that's pushing the dollar down takes hold.

Because we're all rich in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24383955)

Didnt you know that?
Its the new golden land of opportunities.

Try buying a car in Denmark, the government puts a 180% tax on them.. so basically we pay for almost 3 cars every time we buy 1.

What's the point with Dreamweaver? (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 5 years ago | (#24383961)

Firebug does an excellent job editing html pages in real time. It's more standard compliant, works great with Javascript and is free as in speech!

Do a web developer need anything else?

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