A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry is investigating how it could force computer giant Apple to appear before it after members became frustrated with the company's refusal to co-operate.
Hearings into the pricing of software and other IT-related material such as games and music downloads will begin in Sydney tomorrow but neither Apple nor Microsoft will appear.
''Some of the big names in IT have taken local consumers for a ride for years but when legitimate questions are asked about their pricing, they disappear in a flash,'' Labor MP and committee member Ed Husic said. ''These companies would never treat US consumers in the way they have been treating Australian consumers. Now companies like Apple look like taking the same approach to the Australian Parliament.''
Microsoft provided a submission to the inquiry, but will not appear tomorrow.
Members of the House of Representatives standing committee on infrastructure and communications have been frustrated with the behaviour of Apple. The company provided the committee with a confidential submission, which means the committee is unable to use the information in its report.
Mr Husic said the committee ''should give consideration to taking a harder line with companies failing to respond to legitimate consumer concerns''.
A spokesman for Apple could not be contacted.