Tech giants forced to hand over paperwork

Aussie politicians looking into Apple. Microsoft and Adobe’s price antics are mulling over forcing the outfits to hand over their paperwork.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald,  the big three snubbed an inquiry into why they were ripping off Aussie users with inflated products claiming they were washing their hair.

The hearings into the pricing of IT software and hardware resume in Canberra today, committee member and Labour MP Ed Husic is furious that the three companies were treating Parliament with contempt.

He is looking for scalps and thinks that it might be good idea to raid the company’s headquarters and look for documents.

Husic is to ask the committee to subpoena documents exchanged between the three companies and the Australian Information Industry Association, which has appeared before the inquiry on their behalf.

This will include emails and any information that was exchanged, Husic said.

He added that given the failure to co-operate, and since the major players are hiding behind their own industry association, the committee needed to see the documents exchanged between the association, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and whoever helped prepare the association’s submission to the IT inquiry.

Evidence that software and hardware companies were stinging Aussie customers is mounting. Consumer group Choice told earlier hearings that Australians paid more than 50 per cent above US prices for music downloads, games computer hardware and other products.

Husic has some support from fellow committee members. Committee chairman Nick Champion said members were frustrated at the companies’ refusal to appear at hearings.

While the committee has written too nice letters to the Big Three they they have been ignored. Husic said he would argue the companies should also be compelled to appear.

Champion, did not want to pre-empt the committee’s position, but added it is certainly something they will look into.

Microsoft and Adobe provided submissions to the inquiry. Apple demanded that its submission be kept confidential – not that it has anything to hide.