It seems that if anyone was expecting a full confession in the Apple spying case they would be sadly mistaken.
The culture at Apple is that if there is a problem to deny it is not happening until the last possible moment. It seems that Paul Devine, an Apple global supply manager, for allegedly taking at least US$1 million in kickbacks from six Apple suppliers in Asia has followed that particular policy against his former employer.
When he appeared in court yesterday he denied everything and will face a trial.
Now three of the six Asian manufacturers have waded in. Two said they are “investigating” and the other claims it never bribed Devine.
Jonathan Chang, a deputy spokesman at Pegatron, which invested $24 million to acquire Kaedar in 2008 told Reuters “We are investigating the case now and feel sorry about this,” he said. We are not sure if that is a problem in translation or an admission.
Pegatron was spun off earlier this year to avoid any conflict of interest in Asustek’s main business and it makes plastic cases for products such as iPhones and iPods
JLJ Holdings, which owns Jin Li Mold Manufacturing, claimed it was looking into the matter. It will find denying it all a bit tricker because its employee Jin Li employee was named in the indictment along with Devine.
South Korean headset maker Cresyn denied that it had given any improper commissions to Devine.
It claims that Devine approached the outfit and offered to give it business consulting to help it advance into the US Market. The outfit met Devine in early 2006 during supply talks with Apple and he proposed consulting services later.
There is nothing wrong with this. If you were doing a lucrative supply contract with a big company hiring that outfit’s lead negotiator is always a good idea.
Devine accepted the offer and received general information about US markets, and in return it paid him a small consulting fee, it’s alleged.
Apple named Singapore’s Glocom/Lateral Solutions and Fastening Technologies, as well as Taiwan’s Nishoku Technology as the other Asian companies involved. They have not made any comment about it.