Tag - EU
[Updated to reflect new statement European Commission, Forbes clarification] A report from the European Union on tax deals between tech companies, including Apple, and Ireland could be coming as soon as tomorrow. The European Commission will allegedly be offering a document explaining its formal investigation -- first launched in June -- that could suggest Apple and other may have benefited from illegal state aid from the Irish government.
Hours after a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, search engine giant Google is already receiving requests to purge "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" personal engine from search results. Google has not as of yet figured our how to handle the requests or generated a workflow to evaluate the legitimacy of the demands.
Apple and four of the five major publishing companies have offered to allow retailers such as Amazon to discount e-books for up to two years, part of a deal that could end an EU antitrust investigation that mirrors the case being brought against Apple and two publishing houses in the US. Only one publisher, Pearson's Penguin group, was not part of the sweeping EU arrangement, which could see Amazon regaining its monopoly position in the e-book market.
The European Parliament has introduced regulations to cap the amount mobile service providers can charge for calls and data when users are operating their devices outside of their home country. According to the BBC, the caps were passed by a sizable majority and are intended to prevent "bill shock" at the charges incurred by users making calls and using data applications abroad.
European smartphone users can expect to have access to 4G wireless networks sometime in 2013. The European Parliament has approved the commencement of a 4G roll-out utilizing the 800MHz band that is currently used by certain broadcasters still using analogue prior to the finalization of a digital switchover due at the end of 2012. The 800MHz band has been identified as one of the more effective frequencies for 4G networks as it can send data over longer distances and offers better in door reception.
Germany is holding off on joining 22 other EU member states in signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Spiegel Online reported. It has changed its mind, as it previously said it would join. The failure of Germany, Europe's largest economic contributor, to sign the agreement is a huge stumbling block. The powers-that-be in German are said to be holding off on a decision until the EU Parliament makes its own decision in the matter.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in a discussion late Tuesday raised the possibility that a formal antitrust dispute with Google could start in late March. He informed Reuters that comments from investigators would come in near the end of the quarter, which ends that month, and that he didn't "expect anything sooner" for a full complaint. Leaks had tipped an early 2012 filing, if it went ahead at all, but hadn't been corroborated directly until now.
The EU is readying a strategy to support political activists using the Internet and social networking to communicate their views in countries that are inclined to repress freedom of expression. Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission, told a Dutch conference on Internet freedom that she will be announcing a plan to assist activists speaking out for democracy in their countries. Kroes' words mirrored comments made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday on Internet restrictions in Russia, Syria and China.
EU commissioner Neelie Kroes in an interview has warned that the iPhone and other phones may be pushed open by new European interoperability rules. Citing Apple as an example, she observed that the App Store and other closed platforms were examples of customer lock-in for proprietary technology. Kroes stopped short of proposing exact measures in a EurActiv talk but made clear Apple wouldn't be immune to an overall push for interoperability by the European Commission, whose Digital Agenda could make licensing and publishing formats a legal requirement.
The European Ombudsman has reprimanded European Union regulators on Wednesday for mistakes in its antitrust probe of Intel. In his report, ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros said the Commission failed to make a proper record of its meeting with Dell in relation to the Intel investigation. The note did not conclude whether or not the EU anti-trust body infringed Intel's rights of defense.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE