Apple Australia faces a A$57 million lawsuit from the liquidator of a former Apple dealership, Buzzle.

Buzzle went into receivership in March 2001, when it owed A$30 million to 866 firms while its supplier Apple was itself owed A$20 million.

The lawsuit claims Apple was in "effective control" of Buzzle, and "instrumental" in its collapse, according to Australian IT.

The lawsuit alleges insolvent trading, channel stuffing and "shadow directorship".

Buzzle's liquidator, Andrew Wily of Armstrong Wily, said many of the resellers that comprised Buzzle were not financially sound when Buzzle was formed in 2000 - debts had reached A$15 million.

"When Buzzle started, this debt was transferred on to its books and made life very difficult," Mr Wily said. "Then the company incurred another A$22 million worth of debt to Apple from purchases of stock."