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.
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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.
Korean electronics giant Samsung has today announced that it will drop its patent-infringement lawsuits against Apple in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The announcement comes just hours after Apple was denied its request to have 26 Samsung devices banned in the United States — though the two cases are unrelated.
Following the unveiling of the iPhone 5 and a new family of iPods on Wednesday, Apple has begun selling a new Lightning to Micro USB adapter for customers in Europe. As its name suggests, the adaptor allows users to charge and sync their new iOS device using a Micro USB cable — in compliance with the rules laid out by European Commission.
Apple has lost an appeal against a court ruling in Germany to have its iCloud push services restored. The service was disabled back in February after it was ruled that Apple had infringed on patents owned by Motorola Mobility. While iCloud is still available, users now have to open up their Mail app and fetch new email manually, or set their device to fetch email at certain intervals.