Europe rules U.K. ‘snooper’s charter’ is illegal

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iPhone hack
It seems that European courts agree with Apple about government spying.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Union’s highest court has ruled that the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act, aka the “snooper’s charter,” is illegal.

The EU objects to the government’s “general and indiscriminate” retention of emails and other electronic communications. While the EU acknowledges that this information can be helpful, they argue that it should only be gathered in specific targeted instances to stop terrorism or serious crime.

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EU governments meet to divvy up $14.5 billion Apple tax windfall

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money
Apple hasn't paid the money yet, but already it's being divvied up.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

European Union finance ministers reportedly discussed how to divvy up the windfall from Apple’s 13 billion euros tax bill at a closed-door meeting in Slovakia over the weekend.

Some European governments were reportedly more keen on getting their hands on Apple’s money than others, with Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble saying, “Of course we’re looking into it.”

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Why Tim Cook’s open letter about taxes struggles to paint Apple as the underdog

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Apple-BigBrother-1984
Who is Big Brother and who's the rebel freedom fighter?
Photo: Apple

With his open letter defending Apple’s Irish tax strategy, Tim Cook positions his company as a sledgehammer-tossing freedom fighter at battle with Big Brother-style EU bureaucracy.

But unlike Cook’s previous missives on LGBT rights and the importance of privacy, this open letter seems unlikely to be met with near-unanimous support. While railing against the EU’s massive assessment of €13 billion euros in back taxes owed by Apple, Cook ignores the facts of the matter — and seems tone-deaf about painting the world’s biggest company as an underdog.

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Apple gets an unexpected €13 billion tax bill

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money
Apple just got landed with the tax bill from hell.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The verdict’s in on Apple’s European tax investigation, and the company has been handed a massive 13 billion euros ($14.52 billion) bill for unpaid back taxes in the Republic of Ireland.

The order was made by European Union competition officials, who ruled that Apple was taking advantage of illegal state aid that allowed the company to route profits through Ireland.

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Will EU hammer Apple for Irish tax arrangements? We’ll know soon

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Apple may owe billions of euros in back taxes.
Apple may owe billions of euros in back taxes.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s tax drama in Europe will finally come to a close later this fall.

The iPhone-maker has come under scrutiny from the European Union due to its tax deal with Ireland that safe guards Apple from paying taxes on billions of dollars in profits. Ireland’s finance minister revealed that he has no idea which way the decision will go, but he was told it’s coming soon.

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Apple says it ‘pays every cent’ it owes in E.U. tax

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Apple claims it doesn't receive favorable tax deals in Ireland.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has spoken up about the European Union investigation into its Irish tax affairs, telling a panel of E.U. investigators that it pays “every cent of tax” it owes in the country, and that it gets no advantage whatsoever compared with other companies.

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Apple’s CFO says the company should pay ‘zero’ extra tax in Europe

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Apple's Chief Financial Officer thinks Apple doesn't owe the E.U. one extra cent.
Photo: Ste Smith

Despite the noise being made about big multinationals using loopholes to avoid paying tax, Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri has made it clear how much he thinks Apple owes as part of the European Union’s ongoing investigation.

“My estimate is zero,” he told the Financial Times. “I mean, if there is a fair outcome of the investigation, it should be zero.”

Don’t spend it all at once, E.U.!

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Hold onto your seats! Here’s an update on the Apple tax investigation

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money
Ireland has a few more weeks to wait to find out if it's broken the law.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

After having initially been promised for a Christmas deadline, it now appears that both Apple and Ireland will have to  wait until February to receive the verdict of European Union regulators on whether or not Ireland has broken international tax rules by letting Apple shelter profits worth tens of billions of dollars there.

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Apple launches Personal Pickup in six E.U. countries

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Members of the press were given a preview of the new Apple Store in Brussels, which official opens Saturday.
Apple is making its retail store services more consistent around the world.
Photo: Photo Bruno Dalimonte/macplus.net

Apple has expanded its Personal Pickup scheme — which allows customers to order products online and then pick them up in their nearest brick-and-mortar Apple Store — to six new countries in the European Union, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

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Apple must wait until 2016 for tax break verdict

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Yep, Apple's pretty darn valuable.
Apple could have to pay back billions as a result of tax probe.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Having previously said that he expected to receive the European Commission’s verdict on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements by Christmas, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan now claims that an announcement is likely to be delayed util next year.

The delay in the long-running investigation is the result of regulators asking for additional information from the Irish government, which will take several weeks to gather.

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