After years of examining the Android operating system, the European Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation into claims that Google unfairly forces competitors into bundling its own apps on their devices.
Preliminary findings by the European Commission have slammed Apple and Ireland for a so-called “sweetheart” tax deal which allowed Apple to avoid paying taxes by building up a massive offshore cash pile of $137.7bn in the country.
The deal dates back to 1991, and allowed Ireland to provide Apple with illegal state aid. Apple has had a base in the country since 1980.
In a statement, the European Commission said that “the Irish authorities confer an advantage on Apple,” and that this “advantage is obtained every year and ongoing.”
The European Commission today gave its approval to Apple’s $3 billion takeover of Beats Electronics and Beats Music. The regulator concluded that the two companies are not close competitors, and that the headphones they sell are “markedly different in function and design.”
Europeans will next year be able to take their smartphones anywhere within the EU and enjoy calls, texts, and data without paying a penny more than they do at home. Expensive roaming fees are set to be scrapped by July 1, 2014, after the European Commission voted to fast-track a major overhaul of telecoms regulation.
The European Commission’s Vice President for Competition Policy, Joaquín Almunia, has confirmed that it will charge Samsung “very soon” in an antitrust patent case after the Korean electronics giant broke competition rules by filing patent-infringement lawsuits against Apple. Samsung has been under investigation since January for a possible breach of antitrust rules, and earlier this week, it dropped all of its injunction requests against Apple in Europe.