IanCP - 7:11 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
My view is that they have been summonsed solely on the basis they declined or ignored cordial invitations.
Being summonsed, by itself is ominous, unfortunately American corporations have a track record of thinking they are inviolate to Australian courts and institutions.
Contempt of parliament, if they're stupid, could loom large. The last and only case I can recollect were two bozo's who ignored the summons. They were both arrested in a very short space of time, placed upon a plane to Canberra and appeared before parliament.
Before night fall both were back in Sydney, in jail and shocked to realise their sentence was "for an indeterminate duration of parliament's pleasure".
After some days they re-appeared, purged their contempt and were released.
Sorry Bill, to answer your question: "give the Parliament a standard presentation about common market pricing"?
It won't be a presentation situation I think. Last year we had the CEO of one of the two big grocery chains appear before the Senate. He wasn't summonsed. He was grilled in a beguiling fashion. I could see the trap a mile off, he didn't. Making a horses backside of himself, he made certain categorical assertions to one Senator.
Eventually, the Senator sprung his trap. He told the CEO that his "real day job" wasn't being a Senator, his "real day job" was being a farmer. One of the farmer's being royally XXXX by his very corporation.
With the Senator then producing documentary evidence, all the CEO could do was put up both hands and say "mea culpa".
Rarely do they ask questions without first knowing the answer.
I'll look forward with great interest to these hearings.