Buzzle hits Apple Computer with $57 million lawsuit

“Apple Computer faces a $57 million lawsuit from the liquidator of the collapsed retail chain Buzzle, who claims Apple was effectively in control of the company and instrumental in its rapid demise,” Michael West reports for The Australian.

“Buzzle, the subject of the ABC ‘fly on the boardroom wall’ documentary Going Public, went into receivership in March 2001 owing $30 million to 866 creditors. Apple, its major supplier, was owed $20 million,” West reports. “A spokesman for Apple Computer declined to comment on the action, which Apple is expected to defend vigorously.”

Full article here.


  1. Am I really tired, or does that make no f’ing sense? I see what appears to be english words, sentences, paragraphs, punctuation. But it doesn’t compute.

    Do Australians just speak some fucked up version of english that is totally incomprehensible?

  2. I remember this company, and the documentary on the startup and failure. It’s a classic. It kind of reminds me of that joke “You can tell it’s gonna be a bad day when you see a 60 Minutes team waiting at the office”, although in this case, the camera crew were making the documentary.

    My theory is that it failed due to bad timing for some of it (post dot com), but perhaps also management incompetence and infighting amongst the resellers (the documentary reveals some of this). Is Apple responsible? Perhaps, but the company wasn’t around long enough to recoup some of the startup costs.

    The biggest problem in Australia is the pricing of Apple computer products… whilst recently it’s much better, it’s still much too high, as it is almost everywhere outside of the USA. (however, most electronics is expensive in Australia so it’s not just Apple.)

  3. “As small as they are 57mill is nothing to Apple. Pay the ticket.”

    Yeah…that’s right stick it to the rich! They can can make up for $57 Mill…just lay off a few thousand employees or close a plant! Great idea! Freaking great…

  4. Dear wtf,

    Actually you’re just really tired.

    Look this was a dumb idea from the start.

    1. The name stank. It was meant to be a cross between buzz and Apple and kind of ended sounding like frazzle.

    2. Apple pushed the idea at the wrong time and with the wrong players.

    3. What really put the nail in the coffin is that Australia’s most successful chain of resellers Next Byte looked at the whole deal and at the last moment pulled out. No criticism to the company they made the right commercial decision.

    To be honest the whole episode took place sooooo long ago, that the whole episode is locked away in the back of my brain submerged by much more useful events (like breathing).

    And to Fred Nerk (and you’d have to be an oz with a name like that) Buzzle was mainland disaster. I know we make jokes about Taswegians (actually too many jokes) but for once you guys made the right decision by doing nothing.

    A lot of companies got burned by this misadventure and the blame is not totally Apple’s. Similarly, the industry took some time to get over this debacle. And notatotalsucker is not a sucker at all. One of the major gripes that loyal Australian Apple users have been shouting about for years is that we’ve been totally ripped off by Apple over pricing. Thankfully this situation has recently (c.2004) been corrected. And yes some other electronic manufacturers have gouged the eyes out A’stralian consumers and many of us are none the wiser.

    Finally wtf there’s a world out there and if you took the time to understand it your life would be that much richer. But as my ex editor used to say “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

  5. A bunch of resellers get together and dump $15 mil of debt into a new company that they hope to sell on the market for $120 mil. Enter the dot com bust and no one wants this pile of debt – and Apple is to blame? Attorneys for Apple will have a ball with this one.

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