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Was Apple Responsible For Aussie Reseller's Collapse?

Was Apple Responsible For Aussie Reseller's Collapse?

by , 12:00 PM EDT, August 13th, 2003

The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled against Apple yesterday, in a claim that liquidation investigations into failed reseller Buzzle were biased against Apple. The bias claim made by Apple is one of many proceedings in the ongoing saga about Buzzle's collapse in 2001 and subsequent liquidation, with claims from the Buzzle camp that Apple had engaged in channel stuffing and generally 'sharp practice' -- dishonest conduct -- during Buzzle's short-lived operation. The Australian Financial Review's Web site included this synopsis of yesterday's rulings:

Judge Reginald Barrett found that claims about Apple's participation in the affairs of Buzzle were "ripe for investigation" by liquidator Andrew Wily despite the fact they were being pushed by two former directors of Buzzle.

"These would add a new and important dimension to the potential value of claims for insolvent trading," Justice Barrett said.

Apple brought the case last year to head off proposed examinations by Mr Wily of its executives amid allegations that Apple may have been partly responsible for the collapse of Buzzle after only six months of trading in 2000.

Mr Wily had planned to conduct examinations last year to test the allegations by former Buzzle directors Donald Hartono and Wing Nen Liu and also investigate concerns that Apple supplied defective items and "channel stuffed" by forcing Buzzle to stock products it didn't require.

Justice Barrett's rejection of the bias claims indicates that the allegations are now able to be investigated freely.Buzzle was a company formed via a merger between six Apple resellers. Buzzle collapsed after only six months, shortly before their initial public offering. You can read the Financial Review's article at their Web site.

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