European regulators are keeping a close eye on Apple Pay


Apple Pay Germany
Apple Pay recently went live in Germany.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has admitted that Apple Pay hasn’t taken off quite as quickly as he would like. But that’s not stopping the European Commission from threatening that Apple’s mobile payments service could face challenges if it gets much more dominant.

Speaking this week, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that, while at “first glance, we couldn’t see Apple being dominant,” it will face ongoing scrutiny regarding Apple Pay.

Ireland won’t be sued over Apple’s giant tax bill


Apple's headquarters in Cork, Ireland.
Apple's headquarters in Cork, Ireland.
Photo: Jan Zuppinger/Flickr CC

The European Commission has decided that it won’t sue Ireland over delays in recovering a 13.1 billion euro ($15 billion) disputed tax bill from Apple.

The European Court of Justice action against Ireland was initiated in October 2017 after the country failed to get Apple to pay up one year after the European Union handed Apple the massive tax bill.

New Google policy could raise the price of Android phones


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.

EU may force iPhone to switch from Lightning to USB


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?


European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
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


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


European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
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


Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
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


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.