EU may force iPhone to switch from Lightning to USB

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These MFi-certified Lightning cables are sheathed in steel and designed to last forever.
What if your iPhone and iPad had a standard USB port instead of a Lightning one?
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Apple has its Lightning connector and everyone else has USB. But EU regulators are considering whether they need to force a common standard for phone chargers.

The idea is to cut down on the 51,000 tons of old chargers and cables thrown away each year.

After Google’s massive EU fine, could Apple be next?

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
This wouldn't be the first time the EU has handed Apple a giant bill.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Yesterday, the EU announced a massive $5 billion fine for Google due to its strategy of pushing Google search on Android devices.

However, according to a new op-ed published by Bloomberg, Apple deserves a big fine of its own. Here’s the argument behind that statement.

Google slapped with $5 billion fine for Android tactics

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Android P has a similar swipe-based navigation system as the iPhone X, and it supports screen cutouts.
Google's been sneaky, the EU claims.
Photo: Google

Update: The European Commission has confirmed the fine, while also ordering Google make changes to rectify the problem.

Google is bracing itself to be hit with a 4.3 billion euro ($5 billion) fine as a result of its Android operating system strategy, the BBC reports.

The European Commission’s action will mark the conclusion of a three-year investigation into Android’s strategy, which unfairly strengths Google’s dominance as a search engine. The fine will be formally announced later today.

Apple starts paying off its massive $16 billion European tax bill

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Apple's payment means EU will drop may drop its lawsuit against Ireland.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has transferred the first 1.5 billion euro ($1.18 billion) installment of its $16 billion fine ordered by the European Union, reflecting back taxes the company supposedly hasn’t paid.

The payment was confirmed today by Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. In response to Apple paying up, EU authorities are reportedly open to dropping a lawsuit against Ireland for failing to do more to chase Apple’s debt.

Proposed E.U. laws crack down on tax-avoiding tech giants

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money
Europe has been pushing for tech giants to pay their share.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission wants tech giants like Apple and other “digital businesses” to pay their fair share of taxes, and it’s announced new proposals to help implement this.

As previously suggested by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, the proposed rules mean that companies would have to pay taxes throughout the EU, and not just in the location of the European headquarters.

Apple’s acquisition of Shazam now in the hands of antitrust regulators

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Shazam iPhone
Apple must wait for EU approval.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has formerly requested approval for its Shazam acquisition from the European Commission.

EU antitrust regulators confirmed last month that they had launched an investigation into the deal following concerns from seven European countries. Apple will get a decision next month, but it may not be final.

Ireland reveals when Apple will finally pay its giant E.U. tax bill

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money
That's one heckuva bank transfer!
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

After dragging its feet over collecting its giant 13 billion euros ($15.5 billion) tax bill from Apple, Ireland’s Department of Finance has revealed that an agreement has been reached with Apple over when the sum will actually be paid.

The giant tax haul, which Apple was ordered to pay by the European Commission over a year ago, will be transferred to an escrow account, which will manage the funds until all of Apple’s appeals have been heard. But not until 2018!

Ireland continues to drag its feet over Apple tax collecting

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money
The Irish debt office said it would hire managers for the job by mid-November.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In the latest instalment of Apple’s battles with the European Union over taxes, Ireland is set to miss a deadline to hire managers to cary out the collection of its owed taxes.

The Irish debt office previously said that it would hire custodians and investment managers for the estimated $15.3 billion tax bill it was awarded by mid-November. However, Ireland — which has fought against collecting the funds from Apple — hasn’t handed out the contracts as it said it would in tender documents.

Europe sues Ireland over unpaid Apple taxes

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money
The E.C. is continuing its battle with Silicon Valley.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission is continuing its battle with Silicon Valley tech giants by taking Ireland to court, demanding that it reclaim a $17.6 billion tax payment it is owed by Apple.

In addition, it is demanding that Amazon pay it 250 million euros ($294 million) on the grounds that is has enjoyed an illegal “sweetheart deal” in Luxembourg.