iWork, Office and Google Docs banned from German schools

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iWork
iWork could expose user data to U.S. authorities.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s iWork platform has been banned from German schools alongside Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs.

Privacy regulators say that using the cloud-based services “exposes personal information about students and teachers.” They also suggest that the data might be accessed by U.S. authorities.

Fund containing Apple’s giant EU tax bill lost $18 million last year

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money
The escrow contains Apple's massive $16 billion fine.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The escrow fund containing the massive $16 billion fine Apple was commanded to pay by the EU declined by $18 million last year.

The funds are being held in an escrow account while appeals by Apple and Ireland make their way through the court. In the meantime, the money is invested — but, at least based on last year, not as successfully as hoped.

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Fees Apple charges competitors to appear in the App Store are the target of an EU investigation.
Fees Apple charges competitors to appear in the App Store are the target of an EU investigation.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

Apple will open up iPhone’s NFC tech for Brexit app

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Square Terminal could help more businesses accept Apple Pay.
NFC tech hasn't previously been opened up to developers.
Photo: Square

Apple has reportedly agreed to open up its NFC capabilities on the iPhone for a U.K. government app. This Brexit app will help EU citizens apply for residency in the U.K. after it leaves the European Union.

The EU Exit app allows users to scan the chip inside their passports with their smartphone’s NFC reader. While this has been possible to do on Android phones, Apple has not previously allowed developer access to its NFC reading tech.

Spotify’s whining could spark antitrust probe of Apple

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Spotify vs. Apple
The war between Spotify and Apple Music is heating up.
Photo: Spotify

Is Apple using its control of the App Store to squeeze out rivals? That’s the question European competition regulators are looking into.

This news comes after Spotify complained that it is nti-competitive that this company is  required to give Apple a big share of subscription fees paid through the App Store.

Apple will pay France $571 million in back taxes

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Apple France tax
Europe continues to chase Apple for unpaid taxes.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has agreed to pay French authorities around $571 million in back taxes, according to new reports.

Apple today confirmed the deal but did not disclose the sum itself. The agreement comes after a multi-year audit into Apple’s accounts by the French tax administration.

New Google policy could raise the price of Android phones

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Android P has a similar swipe-based navigation system as the iPhone X, and it supports screen cutouts.
It's going to cost more to offer Android devices in the EU.
Graphic: Google

Google is being forced to start charging Android device makers a fee to use the software that previously came free with this operating system. It’s possible device makers will pass this cost along to phone buyers.

This only applies in Europe, though, as it’s a result of the EU ruling that Google used anti-competitive business practices. The company was also fined about $5 billion.

Apple makes last payment on $16.7 billion in Irish back taxes

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money
Even given Apple's $1 trillion valuation, $16.7 billion in back taxes is a big chunk of money Apple hopes it will get back.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has now transferred all €14.3 billion it has been ordered to pay Ireland for back taxes. The cash will stay in an escrow fund while Ireland tries to convince the EU that Apple should get its money back.

This is part of an on-going saga with the EU accusing Ireland of being a tax haven, and Apple caught in the middle.

Apple’s original TV shows will have to abide by EU quotas

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apple tv
Apple needs to source a percentage of its shows from Europe.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As Apple makes moves to become a provider of streaming video content, it will be among the companies bound by new EU laws, stating that companies dedicate at least 30 percent of their on-demand catalogs to local content.

Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department which regulates this area, says that the laws are on track to be enshrined in December. “We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” he recently told trade publication Variety.