It’s Thursday. Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.
1. The Australian outposts of Google, Apple and Microsoft are all being audited by the tax office. The three companies are part of the ATO’s audit of about a dozen tech companies operating in Australia. That was one revelation which came from the Senate inquiry into tax being paid by multinational companies which kicked off in Sydney on Wednesday. Maile Carnegie, Google Australia’s MD was there, along with Apple Australia’s MD, Tony King and Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide tax, Bill Sample, who was flown in from the US. The inquiry is grilling multinationals about where they are sending revenue generated in Australia.
When challenged on the morality of what corporations should pay as its fair share of tax, Carnegie’s argument was solid. She said while Google supports tax reform it needed to happen in collaboration with other jurisdictions.
“When I think about morality I don’t think about it in terms of geographic boundaries,” she said.
“I also think it’s a very qualitative statement. If I asked each one of you what is the appropriate and morally right tax to be paying, I would probably get as many different answers as there are [senators] sitting up on the table.
“Also when you look at it internationally, the answer to that ranges from people like the UK, who says that it’s 20%, through to Ireland who says it’s 12.5%, through to South Korea that says it’s 24%, through to Singapore that says it’s 17%.”
There’s more here.
2. If you’re a startup founder who wants to kick it in San Fran – or SF as the locals call it – you need to read Aussie tech entrepreneur Geoff McQueen’s guide to the city. It’s not a bunch of tips about how to raise, but rather some life advice for wide eyed founders heading over to the big smoke. It was originally written for the Startmate companies who are about to embark on the incubator’s annual US trip. It’s all here.
3. James Packer-backed Australian startup Temando just got swooped on in a $50 million deal. French company Neopost has taken a majority stake in the company but that could just be the beginning. The parties are considering an agreement where Neopost would progressively acquire the remaining shares of Temando. Full story is here.
4. Three strikes and you’re out is the line Australia’s biggest telco companies are taking with its new online copyright warning scheme. Under the new scheme Telstra, Optus, iiNet and Vodafone will hand over personal details of online copyright infringers if they receive three warnings within a year. The code comes less than 24 hours after iiNet lost a court battle against the copyright owners of Dallas Buyers Club which means the details of almost 5000 people who illegally downloaded the film will be handed over.
5. PayPal Australia has a new boss. Former AMP exec Libby Roy has taken on the MD job from Jeff Clementz who is returning to the US.
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