Tag - Europe
The terrorist attack on Brussels has prompted more debate by lawmakers about government access of citizen data, on both sides of the Atlantic. European Union ministers are pushing for more sharing of data between security agencies across the continent, following the deaths of 31 people and injury to approximately 300 others earlier this week in the attack, while the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman urges Congress to move forward on an encryption bill.
Apple will remain "committed to Ireland," regardless of the outcome of its tax investigation by the European Union, the vice president of the company's European operations. Speaking to a panel of European Parliament lawmakers the day before Apple and other companies were scheduled to testify about their tax affairs, Apple's Cathy Kearney argues that the iPhone maker pays all due taxes in the country, and it does not receive any unfair advantage from local authorities for operating in the region.
A group of major companies are going to be questioned by the European Parliament's tax committee about their European tax arrangements on Wednesday. The group, which includes tech companies Apple and Google alongside McDonald's and Ikea, will be asked questions by the committee, in an attempt to find out more details about how the companies set up their tax payments and deals with countries, in order to avoid paying what is believed to be significant amounts of tax.
The European Union's competition chief has warned reporters "Don't hold your breath" for a quick ruling concerning Apple's Irish tax affairs. Speaking in Brussels, Margarethe Vestager was "warning" anyone expecting a result in the investigation anytime soon that they may have to wait for longer, as the European Commission continues its thorough examination into how major tech companies move funds around to minimize how much tax they pay.
A draft framework that would dictate how the privacy of European Union citizens can be protected when data is passed to the United States for processing has been published by the European Commission (EC) and the Department of Commerce (DoC). The EU-US Privacy Shield, created to replace the struck-down Safe Harbor framework, is meant to "protect the fundamental rights of Europeans where their data is transferred to the United States" for commercial and governmental purposes.
Google is going to address the concerns of European regulators about its compliance with an EU ruling over the "Right to be Forgotten," by extending it to other search pages. Google has confirmed it will start removing specific search results requested by EU citizens from all of its regional searches around the world, but only if the searches are started by people physically located within the European Union itself.
Following a meeting by Apple CEO Tim Cook with the head of the antitrust investigation against Ireland on behalf of the European Commission, Apple's CFO has told London's Financial Times that should Ireland be found guilty of giving companies like Apple "special state aid," Apple should owe nothing in back taxes. The crux of remarks by Luca Maestri is that Apple did not receive any special deal from Ireland, but if Ireland illegally lowered its tax rate to benefit corporations, it is the state -- and not the companies that benefitted from the lower rate -- that should pay any penalties.
Apple has received some unexpected support from the outspoken Mayor of London, concerning its European tax investigation. Mayor Boris Johnson wrote in defense of Apple's attempts to pay as little tax as possible on its European earnings, suggesting it is only following the rules of the tax systems across the continent to its advantage, and that the European Commission shouldn't be trying to fix something that the Irish government intended to happen.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent the past couple of days in Europe, where he met with the head of the European Commission's antitrust division as well as Pope Francis at the Vatican in a brief private meeting. On Thursday, Cook met with Margrethe Vestager, the antitrust chief, presumably to reiterate the company's innocence in the Irish tax scandal that could conceivably result in Apple owing billions in back taxes, despite the fact that Ireland's politicians appear to be the guilty party. Cook also met with some Italian developers as Apple opened a new development center in the country.
Apple may end up paying out billions to regulators in Europe, according to analysts looking at a regulatory investigation into the company's tax affairs. Depending on how much it decides to punish Apple, the European Commission's investigation into tax avoidance practices allegedly used by Apple, which involved ferrying taxable funds through various subsidiaries to minimize payable tax, could end up charging over $8 billion in owed taxes.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6