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.
The European Union decided that there’s enough evidence to justify a formal investigation into Apple’s business practices. This is a result of Spotify’s accusation that Apple is using its control of the App Store to squeeze out competition.
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.
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 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.
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.