The people of Australia have long been subjected to inflated prices on software downloads, so much so that the government promised to investigate the matter last year. Now, they are officially following up on that vow by summoning three of the largest offenders to a special committee hearing regarding what they believe to be unfair pricing practices.

Apple, Microsoft and Adobe have all been ordered to send representatives to the hearing in Canberra on March 22nd regarding why local pricing in Australia is more expensive than other parts of the world, as seen in this PDF uncovered by Kotaku. All three tech firms could face legal consequences should they choose not to participate.

MP Ed Husic, a member of the investigating committee, believes it's time to bring in the most uncooperative of offenders.

"These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches. In what's probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summonsed by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US."

However, these three are not the only firms on his radar. He said the few "are just a few firms that have continually defied the public's call for answers." He does point out that progress has been made on the hardware side of the issue with television and computer prices falling 14 percent, according the the latest figures, but digital distribution and software still remains up to 60 percent more expensive in some cases when compared to American prices.