Autodesk / Adobe International Price Discrimination


For those of you who’ve been involved in purchasing CG software for use outside of North America… you’ll know what the title of this thread refers to.

Autodesk VFX / CG software and Adobe software is sold into the UK / Europe, Australia etc… at prices which very significantly exceed those at which they are available in North America. Often approximately 160% of the North American price. The elevation far exceeds increases that might occur due to local taxes. And especially given that so much of the software is available as a download, far exceeds believable ‘additional international distribution costs’ often referred to.

(Currently Autodesk Softimage without subscription sells for US$2995 to North Americans, or 2900 GBP to UK customers. At the time of writing, from 1 USD = 0.628968 GBP).

This is referred to as ‘price discrimination’. (Look it up on Wikipedia). The bottom line is, they charge extra because they can.

I’ve personally repeatedly found it very difficult to reach and be satisfied with CG software purchasing decisions, living in these regions, knowing that the software is valued significantly less in North America.

In an effort to ‘make a noise’ - hopefully heard by these software giants - please post your displeasure at their international price discrimination practices in this thread.


that’s not really how you judge it…

just saying


How do you judge it then?

I’m still pissed off that softimage, which used to cost the same whichever market you bought it in under Avid, has since had its pricing structure re-aligned to the Autodesk/Adobe ripoff. I’d love to see how they justify software being 30% more expensive in the UK than in the states.


3DS Max is almost 175% more expensive in Australia than it is in the US, and the AU and US dollar are almost the same. It works out cheaper for me to fly to the US and buy it, and for a digital download that is practically insulting.

The only argument for increased prices are the extremely vague “localisation” costs…but really, that is pushing the limits of credibility for digital downloads.


actually, a lot of the pricedifference has to do with your countries VAT on software …
or so I read somewhere …


Not really, it’s bullshit. Bad excuse. The difference is just some kind of tradition, they pull it out of their asses.
If Apple can offer software prices on same level internationally, Autodesk can do it too.


especially since the VAT is often added after the extreme price increase. It’s a pain here in Germany too. I think it is even technically illegal or at least not “legit” to transfer a US license to a German company. It is quite annoying. It is the difference between buying 4 seats and 5 or 6 often.


This is one reason why I still work on CS2 and didn´t do any upgrades since then. Add on top that not that much features were added since then (at least for me).


Until we are one global country, what kind of discrimination you are talking about?
“Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership - or perceived membership - in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups.[”

So how is that you are excluded or restricted? because it’s more expensive? This is not restriction or exclusion.


It helps to ease their conscience when work is outsourced from the country where the software is developed. They need to charge even more money so that the user has to raise their prices. If their cost of living is lower and they can charge less, the software companies need to stick it to 'em to help raise their operational cost. This way it can balance out a little more.


You really wanna argue semantics over this? :rolleyes:

The price difference is real and frankly incredibly offensive.
There used to be a website called, authored by a chap called Nigel Moore, who “took on” Adobe about this very issue. It made for some very interesting reading. Sadly the site has been taken offline. Maybe somebody can find it in a web cache somewhere?

I have to agree with ‘plastic’ in that it appears to be more of a tradition than merely differences in localised costs of doing business. It’s a very grey area.


“Price Discrimination” describes a particular economic phenomenon, where identical products from the same supplier are sold at varying prices based on some arbitrary factor the customer can’t control (such as where you live, or if you are male or female).

A hairdresser selling (basically) the same haircut to men and women is often quoted as a perfect example of price discrimination, since the man’s haircut is probably 50% cheaper for no good reason.

Autodesk selling the same software product online (hence the same fixed costs), to various English speaking countries, for wildly differing prices is another.

How we can get them to stop doing it is a bit more complicated.


EDIT: Too slow with posting. This would make more sense if it appeared right after ‘Mister3D’s’ post, otherwise it just looks like a random lecture on economics.


If enough people report this Adobe/Autodesk policy to local regulatory authorities (the people in charge of regulating trade & pricing in the country), something tangible may eventually be done about it.

Adobe/Autodesk and many other Software Co’s get away with what they are doing very largely because people get angry at their policy, but fail to report the problem to their local regulatory authority.


Why English-speaking countries should get the same price? Is Chine automatically becomes a country where you can charge more? Cars, computer equipment, and some software costs in Ukraine much more than in the US, though people earn a fraction and often less what people do in the US and other developed countries. Is it discrimination or equality, if 3ds max costs in Ukraine the same or more as in the US?


I wonder if there is a legal way to screw them over, like someone buy locally and ship for added cost of shipping plus 100 bucks for their service. How could one do that? Could I do 10 a week? Maybe 5?

Hmmm that would be fun. It might save some companies money and still be perfectly legal simply being third party distributor.

Why is this not being done already? What are the legalities?



The reason that’s always glibly quoted by the software producers for higher prices outside the US is ‘localization expenses’ - the costs of translating the software into another language, and providing support in that language, as well as international shipping.

This is almost certainly a lot less than their higher prices would suggest, but it’s not 0. The only way to PROVE they are engaged in unnecessary/annoying/unethical price discrimination is by comparing like for like - an English version of the software, bought and downloaded over the Internet.

When translation / shipping enters the argument, the companies have a loophole to wriggle out of, and it clouds the issue.

No offense to non-English speakers intended, just an unambiguous argument.



You cant. Not sure about Adobe, but I know for a fact that you cant use Autodesk software outside of the country you bought it in and they require you to be an official retailer in order to distribute the software. On top of that, you dont even own the license, you just rent it, basically.

I am literally disgusted whenever i even think about all the injustice they manage to get away with. I believe some of the policies they have in place even contradict the very laws of the countries this software is being distributed in, and it still makes no difference.


Ajenyon, I see your point, thanks for explaining. This makes sense.


Im just glad Sidefx Houdini is not effected by the pricing rip off . :slight_smile:



Was that bit of irony intentional or it just panned out that way, mr Bob? :slight_smile: