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

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Anti-robocall bill is one step closer to being passed into law
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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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
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 is adding 2x as many monthly subscribers as Apple Music
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
Apple's tax bill in France will be deductible.
Illustration: 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.