“Apple Inc has been ordered to appear before Australia’s parliament with fellow technology giants Microsoft Inc and Adobe Systems Inc to explain why local consumers pay so much for their products, despite the strong Aussie dollar,” Rob Taylor reports for Reuters
“Broadening a row between the world’s most valuable company and Australian lawmakers over corporate taxes paid on Apple’s operations, Apple executives were formally summonsed on Monday to front a parliamentary committee in Canberra on March 22,” Taylor reports. “‘In what’s probably the first time anywhere in the world, these IT firms are now being summonsed by the Australian parliament to explain why they price their products so much higher in Australia compared to the United States,’ said ruling Labor government MP Ed Husic, who helped set up the committee.”
Taylor reports, “High local prices and soaring cost-of-living bills for basic services are hurting the popularity of the minority Labor government ahead of a Sept. 14 election it is widely tipped to lose, giving political momentum to the inquiry.”
“Husic took aim at Apple last week over local taxes paid by the company, telling parliament that Apple generated A$6 billion in revenue in Australia in 2011, but paid only A$40 million in tax – less than one percent of turnover,” Taylor reports. “‘While they generated A$6 billion in revenue, they apparently racked up from what I understand A$5.5 billion in costs. How?’ Husic said. ‘They do not manufacture here. They have no factories here.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’d hazard a guess that Apple’s not breaking any tax laws. Rather than trying to score cheap political points, Husic might glean more insight simply by reading and understanding Australia’s current laws.