The father of Swisse chief executive Radek Sali has launched a defamation action following claims on ABC’s consumer affairs program The Checkout, claiming a recent episode ‘‘severely injured his reputation and standing’’. Presenters Craig Reucassel and Julian Morrow along with executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are all named as defendants in the lawsuit. Avni Sali’s lawsuit centres around claims made during the episode broadcast March 21, which alleged the National Institute of Integrative Medicine he founded was not independent in conducting clinical tests of Swisse products. “The program was meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiff performed clinical tests... and then manipulated the published results for the commercial benefit of Swisse,’’ Sali says. Packer lieutenant John Alexander appointed to Seven West Media board Seven West Media has announced it is appointing John Alexander, the former executive deputy chairman of James Packer's Crown Casino empire, to its board of directors. "We are delighted John has accepted the invitation to join the board of Seven West Media," Seven West chairman Kerry Stokes states. “His success in media and business speaks for itself. His appointment adds further depth to the board of our company as it continues to develop its businesses.” Treasury looks at closing tax loopholes for digital services The Treasury has released an issues paper examining the ways in which international online giants, including Google, Apple and Microsoft, minimise their tax bills by shifting profits from online services into low-tax jurisdictions. “The global reach of multinational enterprises, along with the developments in information and communication technology…provides them with a high degree of flexibility in how to structure their affairs,” the paper states. “These developments raise serious concerns about the efficiency, equity and sustainability of the income tax system.” The paper also calls for submissions suggesting possible solutions to the erosion of tax revenues by international tech companies, along with further data that could assist the Australian Tax Office. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.9% to 14831.6. The Aussie dollar is up to US102.48 cents.
The tech industry has been left disappointed after major companies including Apple and Microsoft at last week’s parliamentary inquiry into pricing in the IT sector didn’t deliver any sufficient explanations as to why local consumers pay so much. The organisation which helped push for the inquiry in the first place, Choice, said the companies involved didn’t necessarily offer appropriate explanations and, in some cases, gave “bizarre” alternatives. “Adobe gave some bizarre comments around the personalised nature of its website, and how that somehow justified charging people $1,200 more for its Creative Suite,” spokesperson Matt Levey told SmartCompany. Choice spokesperson Levey said while the pressure placed on these companies by having to appear at the inquiry is in itself a positive outcome, Choice wants to see a recommendation on geoblocking – a tool used by companies to prevent local users from accessing prices used in other countries. “We’re think there’s a strong case for that to be looked at, and we’d like to see some strong recommendations there,” he said. Three major companies appeared before the inquiry – Microsoft, Adobe and in a rare appearance, Apple. Firstly, Apple local managing director Tony King, who is rarely seen in public, shifted much of the blame from the company onto the local rights holders. As a result, he said, local users pay more for iTunes content than in other countries. “Apple must pay the rights holders to distribute content in each of the territories in which the iTunes store exist,” he said. “The retail pricing of digital content is based on many factors and foreign exchange is not a major factor. The main differentiator is the wholesale price.” Apple has faced scrutiny in the past due to the price disconnect between countries. Users in Australia often pay much higher prices for music than customers in the United States. Levey said while this argument did carry some weight, he likened Apple’s market power to the same kind used by Woolworths and Coles to reduce the price of milk. Microsoft took a much more defensive stance, with local head Pip Marlow saying the current prices were set and if customers were unhappy, they could shop elsewhere. “If they don’t like it, they vote with their wallets,” she said, adding there wasn’t a “silver bullet” for addressing pricing issues. Finally, Adobe game some aggressive answers in which it suggested customers could even fly to the United States and purchase products if the end result was cheaper. Local managing director Paul Robson told the inquiry the company’s policy of geoblocking, in which customers are directed to the local store and cannot access lower prices in other countries, is completely valid. “The personalisation is relevant to the experience you get when online. One of our key interactions is to allow [buyers] to talk among themselves and ask them to contribute to the future of our product,” he said. Levey says the inquiry provided “three different approaches but no real explanation”. This story first appeared on SmartCompany.
Adam Giles has been appointed the new Northern Territory chief minister, following a party room coup against Terry Mills.
Earlier today, an entrepreneur attempted to explain to the Taskmaster what “cloud computing” is.
The pundits who have been waiting for Apple to come up with a new product category may just get their wish. New reports today suggest Apple is working on a wristwatch that could be released as soon as the end of the year.
Another new niche job site, SpotJobs, is preparing for its national media launch next month, having already received seed funding and office space from residential builder Simonds Homes.
Technology advisory firm Ovum has highlighted a number of key trends to emerge from Mobile World Congress 2013, based on announcements from Telefonia, Google and MasterCard.
Do you have a big presentation coming up? Perhaps you’re pitching to investors? If so, and you want to get psyched up for it, you could do far worse than watching an old presentation by the Taskmaster’s hero. No, I don’t mean Scrooge McDuck; I mean Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The US-founded Startup Grind event series continues to grow in Australia, with the Sydney and Melbourne chapters set to host the founders of Atlassian and Zendesk respectively.
In his famous address of Stanford University graduates in 2005, Apple founder Steve Jobs said: “You've got to find what you love… and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
I run a retail business and am wondering if we need an app.
After months of deliberations and refusals to appear before the Federal Parliament's probe into IT pricing, tech giants Apple, Adobe and Microsoft have been summoned to appear before the inquiry and its board.
The surge in mobile-based working provides great opportunities for start-ups, but looks likely to catch many businesses off guard.
Apple shares have plummeted 10% in after-hours trading today, the biggest drop in years, after the company announced mixed results for the holiday quarter.
Occasionally you’ll be reading something on your desktop computer at home, then hop on the train for a commute and want to continue where you left off.
A last minute Christmas spending surge is set to hit retailers this week, with one in 10 Australian men set to leave their festive shopping until today.
Multinational companies such as Starbucks, Google and Apple may face a new specific tax amid growing pressure over tax avoidance in Australia and elsewhere.
US President Barack Obama might be the world’s most powerful person, according to Forbes, but there’s a handful of entrepreneurs on this year’s list for start-ups to draw inspiration from.
The Federal Government might drop is much-vaunted target of bringing the budget back to surplus next year, after the Australian economy posted its slowest rate of growth in the past six quarters.
Late last night, in the mean streets near Taskmaster Towers, I witnessed something truly shocking. A fellow entrepreneur reached into their bag and then proceeded to pull out a heavy, solid, blunt object and point in my general direction. It was dark, but at first glance, it appeared like they had just pulled out a brick.