Tag - Ireland
Apple's Irish data center plans are vital for the company's future expansion across Europe, according to a document detailing Apple's response to objections over the center's construction. An "opening statement" from Robert Sharpe, senior director for global data center services, to an oral hearing advises the center is needed to keep up with the huge demand for Apple services, including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.
Apple has defended its plans to construct a data center in Ireland, over concerns about its energy usage. Environmental concerns were brought up early in an oral hearing about the center with An Bord Pleanala, a regulator that deals with planning decisions made by local authorities, but the main issue brought up concerns the center's energy demands, which critics suggest could impact the electricity prices of consumers across the country.
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 government planning regulator in Ireland has asked Apple to provide more detail about its data center plans, a report claims. According to leaked documents, An Bord Pleanála has delayed the decision it was going to make this month over a planning decision appeal in favor of one that will take place in May, with a letter from the regulator sent to Arup Consulting Engineers, the team working on the project on behalf of Apple, requesting extra information.
Apple employees are often targets of hackers wanting to gain access to their company credentials, but it is claimed staff are being offered bribes to share their account details. According to a report, hackers are offering high prices for account passwords, with bribes to some staff exceeding $20,000, all in the name of acquiring precious internal information and data that could be sold online to interested parties for far higher figures.
A billion-dollar Apple data center in Ireland is currently on hold due to delays by the local environmental review board over concerns about the impact of the construction on local wildlife. Although the company received permission to build up to eight "data halls" or server buildings (approximately 263,000 square feet each) on the site, local residents registered concerns that the construction of the center will harm the local population of badgers, bats, and other animals. Local activists have called Apple's original environmental impact assessment (EIS) "inadequate," but the board (An Bord Pleanála) has been delaying a decision on the matter.
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 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.
An Apple production facility in Ireland has been evacuated after it became the target of a bomb threat earlier today. The Cork facilities, which include premises on Lavitts Quay, Hollyhill, and Model Farm Road, were cleared of all 4,000 staff as a precautionary measure, following after the company received a number of threatening emails that it and local security forces considered to be credible enough for an evacuation.
Europe's business practice investigative organization, the European Commission, has chosen to investigate Apple's tax deal with Ireland closer. A series of expanded supplementary questions has been sent to the Irish government about the matter, likely pushing the final verdict well into 2016, and past Ireland's general elections, which could come as soon as February.