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App Store
Apple is currently fending off App Store complaints around the world.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

US unhappy about international tax laws that go after companies like Apple

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International governments plan to rethink tax rules for the ‘digital age’
Apple's tax practices have raised the ire of some countries around the world.
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is not happy about certain international digital tax laws, which it claims is unfair to American tech giants.

According to Reuters, taxes on digital services imposed by France, India, Italy and Turkey are “inconsistent” with international tax principles. They could, in turn, result in retaliatory tariffs being put in place by the United States.

Apple won’t join French initiative to push tech giants to pay more tax

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iPhone 12 Pro parts cost shockingly little
Should Apple pay more tax than it does?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly declined to sign on to a new French initiative that asks big tech companies to commit to paying their “fair share” of tax.

French President Emmanuel Macron has set up a “Tech for Good Call” that will seek to implement these changes. However, while Google, Microsoft, Facebook and 72 other companies have joined, Apple and Amazon haven’t signed on yet.

Antitrust complaint claims Apple’s crackdown on user tracking is unfair

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privacy WWDC
Apple is all about privacy.
Photo: Apple

A French antitrust complaint against Apple targets an iOS 14 feature that makes it tougher for companies to indiscriminately use tracking technology for mobile advertising.

The anti-tracking feature previously faced criticism, unsurprisingly, from companies that work in mobile advertising. However, this is the one of the first legal actions taken against Apple due to the feature.

French iPhone 12 buyers get free EarPods — in a ridiculously huge box

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Free iPhone headphones are still a thing in France.
In France, the Apple Store keeps giving free headphones with every new iPhone sold this autumn.
Screenshot: Apple

The Apple Store stopped bundling free headphones with all new iPhones sold this autumn. But that’s not true in France. In that one country, buyers still get a pair of EarPods with their purchase… in a relatively enormous box.

But French consumers don’t get a wall charger in the box. That’s true for every iPhone buyer.

France threatens Apple in standoff over COVID-19 contract-tracing privacy

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Any of the new iPhones can handle the worst rainstorm.
France plans to go it alone on COVID-19 contact tracing for mobile phones.
Photo: Apple

A French official accused Apple on Tuesday of hampering the effectiveness of the country’s COVID-19 contract-tracing platform by blocking access to data via Bluetooth.

France minister for digital technology Cedric O told BFM Business TV that Apple “could have helped us make the application work even better on the iPhone. They have not wished to do so.”

Apple restrictions block France’s contact-tracing iPhone app

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Brace yourself for beautiful pictures. iPhone XS and XS Max pack the best cameras yet.
Apple's new platform just won't cut it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

France is calling on Apple to loosen its Bluetooth restrictions on iPhone that are said to be holding back a government contact-tracing app designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Apple currently prevents iOS apps from using Bluetooth connectivity in the background under certain circumstances. Its policy blocks France from moving forward with its app, a Tuesday report reveals.

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Apple-com-COVID-19
Official videos from the NHS and Santé public can now be seen on Apple's website.
Screenshot: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

French watchdog fines Apple $1.2 billion for anti-competitive behavior; Apple to appeal

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Anti-robocall bill is one step closer to being passed into law
France's antitrust watchdog made the ruling on damages.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

France’s competition watchdog announced on Monday it has fined Apple 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for reportedly violating antitrust laws, the biggest antitrust fine it has ever levied.

The French watchdog accuses Apple of exhibiting anti-competitive behavior through its distribution network, including reported abuse of the economic dependence of its resellers. The company plans to appeal.