10,000 sign Adobe CS3 European pricing petition

Discussion in 'News' started by mark u, May 20, 2007.

  1. A petition initiated by Danielle Libine in protest at the sharp differential
    between the prices Adobe charges in Europe and those charged in the USA has
    garnered over 10,000 signatures. The petition can be found here:


    As the initiator reports in her blog, some signatories have also complained to
    the European Commission that they consider Adobe's pricing falls foul of EU
    competition laws:


    The petition has already been the subject of several articles in the European
    photographic and computer press, for example:


    Analysis of Adobe's accounts shows that the justifications claimed by them for
    the higher prices are not substantiated as sufficient to justify the differentials.

    The publicity may be causing some re-think by Adobe - either because sales are
    running below expectations, or in a bid to head off a possible European
    Commission investigation that could in the worst case lead to a fine for Adobe
    amounting to 10% of worldwide turnover, or both. Adobe appear to be researching
    what pricing they might be able to get away with according to these reports in
    Danielle Libine's blog:

    Internet based survey:


    Telephone based survey:

  2. Thanks, Mark. Signed it.
  3. Adobe is (in EU terms at least) now a monopoly in its marketplace. Petitions against
    monopolists don't work very well; you can easily see the (extreme) Adobe line here: "well,
    they could buy someone else's product. Hah hah."

    Neither does government action. Not even the EU's action against Microsoft has had any
    real teeth.

    If those 10,000 people decided they were going to fund or purchase a real alternative,
    then they might have some collective power. But in reality, at most they are likely to look
    at the features of Photoshop that they really need, and then save money by buying
    Photoshop Elements or Lightroom instead.

    I wish I could say anything different about myself.
  4. Is there anything in CS3 that prevents European users simply purchasing it from the US? Are there version differences that make upgrades incompatible? Since it's not a strategic product I'd assume there are no import/export restrictions on it.

    It's not like hardware which can fail and need warranty service.
  5. A cs3 upgrade weights very little. Why buy an offering in Europe if its cheaper elsewhere?
  6. "Is there anything in CS3 that prevents European users simply purchasing it from the US?"

    Yes. Unless one has a server based in the US, you will be redirected to the UK site of Adobe for the download.

    A ripoff.

    I wish something will be done about Nikon's NEF files and their monopoly as well.
  7. Vivek: Nikon's "monopoly" on NEF files? I don't think that qualifies in the normal sense. You can just walk away from Nikon and go to Canon, for example. In reality, Nikon has LESS of the market than Canon. And, of course, there are perfectly free tools out there that will display/convert NEFs to other formats, and Nikon GIVES you tools to do that with every camera they sell you. Not that I think anything "should be done" with Nikon about their file format, but you have total control over whether you have to use it or not: just walk away and go to their competition - and there's plenty of that. Pretty much the opposite of a monopoly.

    If you don't want to buy expensive products from Adobe in order to work with NEFs, try something very inexpensive, like Bibble. Or free, like Picasa.
  8. How about buying an actual boxed CS3 upgrade with a CD via mailorder? In the USA there are in Office supply stores even in podunk. Is it a lockout in europe such that a CS3 upgrade bought in the usa cannot be upgraded in europe?
  9. Matt, I agree that the protected NEF format is the least of Nikon's problems.

    Kelly, How can I buy an upgrade for ps-cs2 to cs3, legally, from the US?
  10. The main US distributors for Adobe (e.g. Ingram, Amazon) seem to have agreed not to sell Adobe products to export customers. The only way Europeans can purchase at US prices is by visiting the USA and buying from a store.
  11. Vivek; All I know is that I have seen CS3 upgrades for the PC at office depot; an office supply chain in the usa. How about B&H the photo store as a start? I would be concerned that by some weird way there is a lockout. Whats the "price differential" anyways; what the squawk is about?
  12. PS-CS2 to PS-CS3 upgrade:

    US: $199

    Europe 293 Euro (~$400)

    Kelly, Mark seems to have answered part of your question.
  13. Photoshop CS3 US $649, UKP 485 (before VAT, which a professional can offset anyway), is about $960. A wedding photographer might want a version that includes web tools, costing UKP 455 ($901) for an upgrade or UKP 1175 ($2327) for the full version, compared with US prices of $499 and $1599 - a big enough difference to pay for a weekend in NY.
  14. If I were in Europe and were faced with the choice to pay the equiv of $400usd as opposed to
    the much lower USA price, I know I'd be visiting my friendly bittorrent site very quickly.
  15. Yup, there's always the Russian "OEM" versions for $25 too...

    I'd assume you can probably find someone on eBay who will sell you a legal US upgrade no matter where you live.
  16. How does the European upgrade differ from the American one?

    Maybe they have to do something different for the European customers. If so, I could see Europe as being a smaller market, and then needing to charge more for the increased overhead.

    Regardless, I think it's rather silly to petition a company. If you don't like their product at the price they're offering it, it's really simple. Don't buy it. Put your money where your mouth is and develop a better and cheaper product.

    Even if I had to pay $400 for the upgrade, I would. Photoshop is a steal already. Especially when you consider just how much labor goes into it.

  17. The English, French and Spanish versions are identical to those sold in the USA (Adobe doesn't even adjust from "Color" to "Colour"). In any event, localisation costs such as translation are tiny - they are included in the cost line of ~5% of revenue that covers the cost of production according to the notes that accompany Adobe's accounts. The accounts also reveal that by taking advantage of lower rates of corporate taxation available in e.g. Ireland (which is the domicile of Adobe's principal EU operation), Adobe's profits were enhanced by over $60m in 2006 compared with what they would have been if those profits had been subjected to US corporate taxes.

    From the petition:

    "In the meantime, if you can, don't purchase the upgrade, it's the best pressure we can have..."

    By drawing attention to the situation, the petition is likely to make many prospective purchasers think before paying up, and there are signs that it has been effective in encouraging people to at least defer any purchase. Of course, should the European Commission decide that there is at least a prima facie case against Adobe under the "abuse of a dominant position" provisions of EU competition law, that would also exert considerable pressure on them. The other method of applying pressure to Adobe is to provide evidence to the Commission that Adobe is/may be in breach of those provisions.

    I suspect that if Adobe were to have charged higher European style prices in the USA, the complaints would emanate mainly from the US rather than Europe. However, you are free to volunteer that you would be prepared to pay twice the current US price - and Adobe may oblige you!
  18. CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3 (includes PhotoPaint), US$399 for full version. Very competent software. Paul
  19. "Put your money where your mouth is and develop a better and cheaper product."

    Is that a challenge from Adobe to their competition?

    What about the consumers?

    Yeah, eBay is such a wonderful place! :)
  20. For the vast majority of photographers, Paint Shop Pro does just about everything they will need at a price of well under $100.

    Full blown photoshop CS3 is way more than most photographers will ever need, but most of them don't know that because Adobe is the 800lb gorilla and their advertising and marketing is quite effective. Since "image editor" has pretty much been replaced by "Photoshop" in the photography literature, Adobe can probably charge pretty much whatever they want and people will still line up to buy it.
  21. Adobe recently e-mailed me a questionaire, probably because I agreed to answer them when I downloaded the Beta. The price they highlighted in the questions was down somewhat on the initially quoted price.

    In the questions on buying, I was able to point out I wasn't happy with the price differential and there was an "any other comments" box at the end for another stab.

    If anyone in the EU gets the chance to fill in the questionaire, make a point of doing so and of pointing out your displeasure at the pricing policy.

  22. Does anyone in the EU use Bibble? For wedding photographers it's a better RAW processor than Lightroom. Don't really need PS if you have it.
  23. The only way to hit them hard is to hit them in the wallet. Let the downloading begin.
  24. I'm living in Italy.

    I tryed to buy the ENGLISH version of Photoshop.
    The U.S.A. price on-line is $. 649

    The italian on-line price for the english version is ?. 826,80 that is $. 1.106,84
    Without reasons!

    And the same rapport exist for the others Adobe's products.

    And I cannot order the program from the U.S.A. store becose it send me automatically to te italian store.

    And if I buy the program directly in U.S.A., I cannot make the upgrades, and the license is not considered "valid" in Italy.
    I will never buy Adobe's products!

    I signed on the petition, but I believe it will not have solution.
  25. Can anyone clarify, without doubt, 100%, that a boxed CD copy of Adobe CS3 bought in the US will:

    a) install, run and activate on UK computers,

    b) be eligible for upgrades later in the day, when CS4 or later are released?
  26. "Can anyone clarify, without doubt, 100%, that a boxed CD copy
    of Adobe CS3 bought in the US will:

    a) install, run and activate on UK computers,

    b) be eligible for upgrades later in the day, when CS4 or later are

    I would like to know as well...I have an unopened Adobe CS3 box
    that I bought whilst out in the States on an abortive freelance job
    'change of lifestyle excursion'. I also bought a US version of
    Quark 7 which is also unopened as the job was a non starter.
    Quark want UKP 514 sterling ($1,064.51) to activate it on my
    new UK Mac, far more than the UK price new when you add the
    US cost I had paid initially... Previous to trying the job in
    California I had worked for UK companies and therefore did not
    own any software...

    I have a horrible feeling I could install, activate and use Adobe
    CS3 but when upgrade time comes hit me with a very high
    upgrade price as it's a US bought package or not even upgrade it
    at all...
  27. Adobe products for use in the UK must originate from Ireland. Purchasing from the United States or anywhere else outside the EU is actually illegal as it is with most Software. US Prices are cheaper and the Software is usually the same and will work on Computers in Europe. The problem however is that Adobe UK-Europe will not support the product if purchased from outside the EU. Any future upgrades must be purchased from the same origin as the original (ie UK upgrades will not Upgrade US vesrions at a later date) There is also the problem that if ordering online for delivery from the US to the UK you would still get charged the import duty (Vat) and usually a handling charge from the courier for processing the duty payment.

    Buying from outside the EU and importing is actually considered almost as bad as buying counterfeit Software by Software vendors and carries the same type of punishments if caught usually fines or prison in extreme cases (especially anyone doing this large scale such as resellers importing to re-sell in the UK)

    Tony Driscoll
    AJD Trading

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