The guns had fallen silent over the last few months on the Government's IT Pricing Inquiry into the so-called "Australia Tax", but fire resumed today when the generals behind the campaign decided to bring out the heavy artillery and subpoena tech companies like Apple and Microsoft. This means war.
The committee issued three legal summonses to appear before the inquiry today to three repeat offenders: Microsoft, Apple and Adobe. The trio will appear before the House Committee on 22 March at 9:30am to answer concerns raised by Choice and the ACMA and the committee itself over the so-called Australia Tax on goods sold locally.
Federal Member for Chifley and the sharp end of the stick when it comes to the IT Pricing campaign, Ed Husic, told us today that he's disappointed it had to come to this.
"This is an important move — but one we shouldn’t have to take. These firms should have cooperated and been prepared to be more open and transparent about their pricing approaches. In what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being called by the Australian Parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the US," Husic said today.
"Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public’s call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry," he added.
These legal notices will force the three companies who have continually dodged the Government's questions to appear before the committee. If they don't appear, the trio will face legal consequences.
It's unsure if other firms will be summoned to appear before the inquiry.