MPs to grill big IT firms

IT COMPANIES including Apple, Microsoft and Adobe will be forced to appear before a federal parliamentary inquiry after they allegedly frustrated efforts to investigate high prices in Australia for their products.

The House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has summonsed the three companies for a public hearing on March 22.

The chairman of the IT pricing inquiry, Nick Champion, has previously told Parliament that the companies had ''stonewalled'' the inquiry, either hiding behind their industry association, which failed to answer key questions or, in the case of Apple, only agreeing to give evidence confidentially.

The Labor MP Ed Husic said compelling them to appear was an ''important move'' but one ''we shouldn't have to take''.

The IT pricing inquiry has been running since last July.

The consumer group Choice provided evidence showing Australians pay about 50 per cent more than US consumers for identical music, software, games and hardware.

This story MPs to grill big IT firms first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.