blog Federal Labor MP Ed Husic has been putting the screws on Apple a fair bit over the past year or two with respect to the difference between its Australian and US prices, so it’s no real surprise that the company has decided to engage with the IT price hike inquiry which Husic is spearheading and which is shortly to kick off hearings. But, as per usual Cupertino style, Apple doesn’t want the public involved, and has pressured MPs into a private, closed door hearing on the matter. The Financial Review reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“The Australian Financial Review can also reveal that the world’s richest company, Apple, has decided against providing a public submission by deadline, and has instead been granted a closed-door hearing with federal politicians in Canberra today.”
Now, we can understand why the MPs on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications, which is holding the hearings, have agreed to closed door talks with Apple on the price hike issue; we suspect, knowing its extreme penchant for corporate secrecy, that Apple gave them a choice of closed door hearings or nothing; it just wouldn’t do, would it, for the public to know precisely how Apple accounts for its Australian markups. Quelle embarassment, for Apple to open up the iron kimono that far.
However, for our part, we wish the Committee had rejected Apple’s application and forced the company into the public eye, like most every other company it will be taking submissions from. Apple might be one of the world’s most valuable companies, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t engage honestly and transparently with governments in the jurisdictions it operates in. The Australian public has a right to know what Apple talks about with our elected representatives. This writer in particular can feel his Freedom of Information fingers itching.