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Apple snubs Australian parliamentary probe

30 Jul 2012

Apple’s refusal to appear before an Australian parliamentary committee discussing software prices has led to government frustration.

Hearings into IT prices such as music and games downloads takes place in Sydney tomorrow but none of the world’s leading technology companies will attend.

Along with Apple, Microsoft will not appear despite providing submissions to the inquiry, with only one representative from Adobe expected to arrive.

The committee is discussing price differences between IT products sold in America and Australia, with fears consumers are paying higher prices Down Under.

To add further fuel to the fire, Apple’s co-operation with US Congressional hearings has led Australian MPs to show they annoyance at seemingly double-standards from the California-based company.

''Some of the big names in IT have taken local consumers for a ride for years but when legitimate questions are asked about their pricing, they disappear in a flash,'' Labour MP and committee member Ed Husic told Fairfax Media.

''Within our growing digital economy, there are reasonable questions to be answered by major IT companies on their Australian pricing. These companies would never treat US consumers in this way.

''Apple has made the utterly wrong call, bringing down the shutters and refusing to engage with this inquiry.

''They're making it difficult for the committee to do its work and it's a massive double standard'' because Apple has appeared before US Congressional hearings.”

As Apple continues its Australian no-show, New Zealand Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has revealed the country is watching developments across the ditch closely before deciding on a similar enquiry here.

What do you think? Are Apple and Microsoft favouring US customers? Let us know your comments below.