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.
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.