Aussie cable company Cox Media has released a new video, which is clearly a direct response to a recent ABC investigation which found that Cox has engaged in a $1.8 billion bribery scheme to sway the Australian regulatory process.
In the video, the company explains that, despite the “serious allegations” made against the company in the ABC report, it “believes in free speech and we stand behind our products and services and strongly defend them”.
Cox says it “stands by our products”, and that the company “will not engage in a ‘pay to play’ or other corrupt practices” and “will vigorously defend our legal position”.
“We will vigorously defend any allegations made against us,” Cox says in the video.
The company has also published a letter to the ABC from a “senior corporate executive” who says the company’s “systematic, longstanding and well-documented” bribery scheme in Australia was “unprecedented” and has been “widespread”.
The letter, which was obtained by News24, is a response to an ABC request for documents by the company on a specific subject, which Cox has not previously made public.
In it, Cox says that the ABC’s report “has damaged our reputation in Australia, our businesses, our customers and our reputation as a company”.
“Cox Media is committed to a culture of integrity and integrity is the foundation of Cox Media’s business model,” the letter reads.
“As such, we will continue to maintain the highest standards in order to provide our customers with a secure, reliable, affordable, and high-quality broadband service that is of the highest quality.”
Cox said in a statement to News24 that the letter was “a non-issue”.
The company did not respond to questions from News24 on the allegations in the report.
Cox’s CEO, David Cox, is no stranger to controversy.
In June, the Federal Government fined Cox $US2.8 million after a $US20 million bribe payment was found to have been made to then-Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey in return for the company taking on a new government contract.
Cancelling the NBN contract, which would have provided broadband to about 60 per cent of the country, would have cost Cox the company $US300 million.
Citing “the gravity of the issue” the Federal Opposition and Greens slammed Cox for the “extraordinary” decision.
The Federal Opposition also claimed the company had been “unfairly” fined in the deal.
In a statement last week, the ABC reported that Cox had received a total of $US3.5 billion in payments in relation to the NBN, including $US1.2 billion in payouts.
“Catherine Cox was paid over the course of three years for the NBN which was cancelled due to the cost of the NBN being unaffordable,” the ABC said in its report.
“In total, the NBN was paid out $US9.9 billion between 2001 and 2015.”
The ABC also reported that, in the past, Cox had engaged in bribery.
In November, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued a $4.5 million fine against Cox for allegedly failing to register as a “purchase manager” for the takeover of Telstra.
Citizens for Public Justice (CJP) has previously criticised Cox over its business practices in Australia.
“It is unconscionable that Cox Media would allow an Australian government to pay a $25 billion bribe to one of its competitors, despite it having a long history of paying millions to the company that is alleged to have bilked Australians out of hundreds of millions of dollars,” CJP CEO David Ritchie said in an online statement.
“We call on the Australian Government to end the corrupt practices that have allowed this company to buy Telstra and continue to pocket billions of dollars in profits.”
Topics:government-and-politics,business-economics-and/our-work,corporate-governance,federal-government,media,crown-andwinfield-6530,act,york-city-2370,australiaFirst posted May 01, 2021 19:22:15Contact Adam JonesMore stories from New South Wales