EU antitrust regulators start Apple Pay inquiry

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Norwegian Apple Pay
Apple Pay is available in many European countries, including Norway.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay, the iPhone’s built-in payment system, is reportedly in the sights of EU investigators. They are looking into whether Apple is giving its system an unfair advantage over competitors.

Apple will get an early indication of its EU tax case outcome this week

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Apple within 3% of hitting amazing all-time high valuation
Fiat and Starbucks cases will offer Apple advance warning (or good news) about its ongoing EU tax battle.
Photo: Pexels

Apple could get an early indication about the likely outcome of its giant European Union (EU) tax case early this week.

Apple was in court last week protesting its 13 billion ($14.4 billion) tax bill from the EU. Although the case is likely to drag on for months, two related cases will be ruled on this week. They may offer Apple some clues about its chances of success.

Apple heads to court this week to battle world’s biggest tax case

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Millions of iPhone users in the U.K. are suing Google for illicit data collection
Apple was handed a $14.4 billion tax bill in 2016.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

Apple has a fight on its hands this week as it goes to court to battle the world’s biggest tax case. The company will protest its 2016 European Union tax bill of 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion).

The EU charged Apple the money after saying it had an unfair tax arrangement with Ireland. Apple has always protested its innocence. This week, a court will start the process of deciding whether the regulators were right.

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.

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.