Uh, I think you haven't thought this through. You only get taken to court if you break the law. So breaking the law to make more money for when you get fined for breaking the law is not smart.
Besides I was not talking about anti competive behaviour [which is a different issue], I was talking about non-uniform prices across the EU. Imagine if a European software company charged all Americans 50-100% more than Europeans and also varied it by State. How would you feel about that.
You're making my point. Thank you.
How do you know if you're "breaking the law" without paying for a legion of expensive, specialized lawyers? The EU has decided that Microsoft "broke the law" in some way, when whatever they did was apparently acceptable in the US. I read some of the details of that one, and it sounds like a lot of nonsense to me, but then I'm not a specialist in corporate law in the EU. So if a big software corporation is going to operate in Europe, they're going to have to charge more, to limit their exposure to a different set of laws. Are you suggesting otherwise?
Legal vulnerability is only one driver. Then there's the cost of maintaining offices, paying people to provide tech support in different languages, maintaining a local billing staff, etc. They sell far fewer copies of the software in the EU than they do in the US, so those costs have to be recovered with with higher per unit prices.
I have no idea why their products might be cheaper in different countries within the EU, but I'd suspect different costs of doing business in those countries. For example, it's a heck of a lot more expensive to staff an office in London (which is always at the top of the list of high-cost cities globally) than it is just about anywhere else.
Prices are not uniform accross the US either: Retail prices vary tremendously from place to place. If Adobe quotes a standard price for some product in the US, you can bet that's for something that will be distributed from a central location, and not something people will be picking up at each different retailer. Adobe has no control of what a specific retailer might charge anyway.
Now I'm not suggesting that I'm in love with Adobe's pricing policies. Most software vendors charge an initial price, and then a small amount for upgrades. Adobe's initial purchase costs are incredibly high, and the upgrade path has gotten extremely muddy lately. If I couldn't make use of the education discount, I would never have been able to afford any of their products, because I don't make money in the photo business. And even with that discount, I only upgrade at every other version. I have plenty of other software that I upgrade much more often.
On the other hand, Adobe's customer service is way better than most. The products tend to be a lot more stable and clean-running than I'm used to from many other companies (including Micrisoft). They're also pretty innovative, and responsive. Look how quickly they come up with raw converters for new cameras. Still, I think they'd make more money if they charged lower unti prices, because they'd increase the size of the customer base. Perhaps they have marketing studies that suggest otherwise.