European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020

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European Commission could get even tougher on tech in 2020
Tech giants might be in trouble next year.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission famously handed Apple a massive $14.5 billion bill in 2016. But from the sound of things it’s only going to get tougher with Silicon Valley’s biggest tech giants.

According to a new report, EU antitrust regulators are “considering taking a tougher line” against companies. This could affect the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

EU antitrust regulators start Apple Pay inquiry

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Norwegian Apple Pay
Apple Pay is available in many European countries, including Norway.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay, the iPhone’s built-in payment system, is reportedly in the sights of EU investigators. They are looking into whether Apple is giving its system an unfair advantage over competitors.

Apple will get an early indication of its EU tax case outcome this week

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Apple shares just passed another historic milestone
Fiat and Starbucks cases will offer Apple advance warning (or good news) about its ongoing EU tax battle.
Photo: Pexels

Apple could get an early indication about the likely outcome of its giant European Union (EU) tax case early this week.

Apple was in court last week protesting its 13 billion ($14.4 billion) tax bill from the EU. Although the case is likely to drag on for months, two related cases will be ruled on this week. They may offer Apple some clues about its chances of success.

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.

Trump ‘concerned’ about French law targeting Apple and other tech giants

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Apple shares suffer biggest decline since August
Trump is worried French tax law could hurt tech giants including Apple.
Photo: White House

President Donald Trump is stepping up to defend Apple. Well, kind of.

The president ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on big tech companies like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon. The Office of the United States Trade Representative said the tax “unfairly targets” American companies.

Update 1: France passed the tax Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse: “The legislation — dubbed the GAFA tax in an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — was passed by a simple show of hands in the Senate upper house after it was agreed by the National Assembly lower chamber earlier this month.”

Brexiteer doesn’t want her shiny new EU iPad

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Logitech Slim Folio Pro review
Apple's market share climbed 4% last quarter.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The dutiful iPad has found itself in the middle of the United Kingdom’s bitter divide over leaving the European Union.

A freshly sworn-in member of European Parliament cried foul over being issued an iPad, implying to followers on Twitter the device was nothing more than a pricey perk.

But her grandstanding backfired when critics informed her that the iPad is a cost-saving tool for her to do her job.

Trump talks tech giants’ alleged monopoly

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Apple shares suffer biggest decline since August
President Trump speaking with Tim Cook.
Photo: White House

The United States should follow the European Union’s lead and investigate Silicon Valley tech giants monopoly-like powers, President Donald Trump says.

Speaking with CNBC, Trump said “something’s going on” when it comes to the concentrated power of today’s tech titans. By fining these companies, he says that the EU gets “all this money — we should be doing that [too.]”

German finance minister blasts tech giants which ‘pay taxes nowhere’

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Cash app with cash money
Apple has previously battled the EU over tax avoidance.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz has slammed tech giants that “pay taxes nowhere.”

It’s the latest shot at tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon which have previously clashed with the European Union on tax issues. In an interview with CNBC, Scholz argued that “we should find a global agreement” to shut tax avoidance loopholes.

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.