Apple, Google, others will be affected by tax loophole closing in 2020
The Irish government is preparing to close a tax loophole that many technology companies are using to their advantage. The government has announced changes to tax law covering Ireland, which will prevent Google, Apple, and other large enterprises from taking advantage of current tax rules in what is commonly known as a "Double Irish" tax arrangement.
Apple denies 'selective treatment'
As expected, the European Commission has issued a preliminary finding in which it suggests that Apple is receiving illegal state aid from the Irish government. "In the light of the foregoing considerations, the Commission's preliminary view is that the tax ruling of 1990 (effectively agreed in 1991) and of 2007 in favour of the Apple group constitute state aid, according to Article 107(1) TFEU [Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union]," the document says. "The Commission has doubts about the compatibility of such state aid with the internal market. The Commission has therefore decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 108(2) TFEU with respect to the measures in question."
Two tax agreements between Apple, Irish government said to be illegal aid
[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.
Countries include Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Italy
The second group of international iPhone 6/6 Plus launches will happen on September 26, checks at Apple's international storefronts indicate. Some countries discovered so far include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The United Arab Emirates will get the new phones on September 27.
New stats may be attempt to sway local governments
Apple has posted a new promotional page, touting the company's alleged benefits to the European economy. It claims to have "created or supported" 629,000 jobs on the continent, with over 500,000 of those being linked to the "app economy." Of the over $20 billion it has paid out to developers, about $6.5 billion is said to have gone to European outfits. Among Apple's 280,500 registered developers, 52,000 are in Germany alone, and 30,000 are in France. The local iOS app economy is said to have about 20,000 open positions.
Department of Justice warrant to obtain emails valid, judge gives Microsoft chance to appeal
A United States District Court judge ruled today that a warrant issued to Microsoft requesting emails stored in Dublin, Ireland is valid. The judge stated that the company must follow the order to produce emails involved in a criminal investigation, in spite of foreign law. The order was temporarily stayed to give Microsoft the opportunity to appeal through the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong among new places
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Court ruling could have impacts on global security
Apple, Cisco, and AT&T have filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Microsoft's appeal of court decision that could force it to turn over email from an Irish customer to US law enforcement. Magistrate Judge James Francis IV ordered Microsoft to supply the data based on the Stored Communications Act, even though the content in question not only belongs to an Irish person but is stored on servers in Dublin. Microsoft has argued that this violates the SCA, international law, and treaties the US has signed that govern how to handle requests for data on foreign citizens.
Company insists it 'pays every euro' it owes
Apple has issued an official response to the European Commission's investigation into its tax practices in Ireland. "Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe," the statement reads. "We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland."
Presences in Ireland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg suspect
As was hinted yesterday, the European Commission has announced a formal investigation of Apple, Fiat, and Starbucks for possible tax evasion. In particular the probe will concentrate on Apple's affiliates in Ireland, Starbucks' footprint in the Netherlands, and Fiat Finance and Trade in Luxembourg. "In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes," states JoaquÃn Almunia, the Commission's VP for competition policy. "Under the EU's state aid rules, national authorities cannot take measures allowing certain companies to pay less tax than they should if the tax rules of the Member State were applied in a fair and non-discriminatory way."
Model still not available in US
The 8GB iPhone 5c is now on sale in 14 more countries, checks show. When the 8GB option first became available last month, it launched in just a handful of regions. The model is newly available in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Irish regulatory approval could be granted to Facebook within weeks
Facebook is working to provide financial services, such as allowing users to send money to each other, according to a report. The social network is said to be applying to regulators in Ireland to begin offering money storage and transmissions, something which could receive approval within weeks, and would directly place Facebook in competition with PayPal, Google Wallet, and other similar services.
PM says Ireland is 'participating fully' in EU corporate tax debate
In his meeting with Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny on Friday, one of the topics Apple CEO Tim Cook ended up discussing was corporate taxes, says local newspaper The Journal. Kenny explains that he mentioned Ireland is "participating fully" in European Union discussions about its corporate tax rate. He notes that the country has a statutory rate of 12.5 percent that applies to all businesses; Apple is among a number of companies, though, that have been accused of exploiting loopholes to pay minimal taxes on international revenue.
Exact purpose of visit unknown
Apple CEO Tim Cook is meeting with Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny today after having addressed workers at the company's factory in Hollyhill, Cork, says local newspaper The Journal. Cook spoke to employees about the company's future plans. Kenny is said to be touring the factory before the meeting.
Change expected to have little practical benefit for government budgets
The Irish government is considering the elimination of a tax loophole exploited by a number of foreign corporations, most notably Apple, reports say. Currently, Apple's Cork-based subsidiaries -- including Apple Operations International (AOI), Apple Operations Europe, Apple Sales International, and Apple Distribution International -- are "stateless" for Irish tax purposes, since they're managed and controlled from outside the country. This has allowed Apple's to dodge Ireland's 12.5 percent standard corporate tax rate, and pay less than 2 percent in taxes in the US. Between 2009 and 2011 Apple funneled billions of dollars through AOI without paying taxes to any government.
Subsequent rollout phase set for November 1st
The iPhone 5s and 5c will launch in over 28 more countries on October 25th, Apple has announced. Italy, Russia, and Spain have been identified as the main launch regions that day, but the list also includes countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and Thailand. On November 1st, still another 12-plus countries will be added, including India, Mexico, and Turkey.
Companies escape scrutiny via 'Safe Harbour' self-certification rules
The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner says it won't investigate Apple and Facebook over their sharing personal data with the US' National Security Agency, according to New Europe. Both Apple and Facebook have their European headquarters in Ireland, and an Austrian student activist group -- europe-v-facebook -- asked the ODPC to look into claims that the NSA collects emails and other private information from the companies through its Prism spying initiative. The ODPC states that the companies are covered under "Safe Harbour," which allows US companies to self-certify themselves as compliant with European Union data laws as long as they agree to a set of principles intended to protect how personal data is used.
Local laws allow companies to dodge normal tax rates
The Irish parliament has rejected a motion to allow a Subcommittee on Global Taxation to call representatives from corporations like Apple and Google to testify, according to reports. Pearse Doherty, a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform tried to get the motion passed earlier this week, but was denied. The Subcommittee is considering how foreign companies exploit Irish tax laws to avoid paying fair taxes in Ireland or elsewhere.
Tells Senators McCain, Levin Ireland is not a 'tax haven'
Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the US, has written a letter to US Senators Carl Levin (D-New York) and John McCain (R-Arizona) flatly denying the charge that Apple negotiated a "special deal" to get an exceptionally lower tax rate in the country for its European headquarters. McCain and Levin made the charge, which Collins calls "wrong and misleading," during testimony from Apple CEO Tim Cook about the company's strategic tax policies that allow it to reduce its US tax liability -- even though a Senate report said Apple's policies were fully legal.
Company also searching for other regional positions
Apple is looking to hire a Russian chat team manager for its still-unlaunched Russian online store, reports observe. Although the person will be based in Cork, Ireland, he or she will "lead a team of 12/15 dynamic advisors," according to the job listing, pushing them to "meet or exceed business goals ensuring that all Apple customers are receiving an excellent service." As a part of the job, the manager will have to conduct his/her own hiring.
New facility to create 800 full-time jobs, manufacture 14nm chips
Intel has received permission to build a new processor fabrication facility in Ireland, after receiving the go-ahead from Irish planning agency An Bord Pleanála. The $4 billion chip plant will be used by the processor manufacturer to create its 14-nanometer processors, with only the final decision from Intel management left before it can be constructed.
More work needed; work on privacy overhaul continues
Apple mislabels Dublin's Airfield Park
Reports are starting to filter in complaining about the quality of iOS 6's mapping data. One of the most significant notes that Ireland's Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, has contacted Apple regarding a mistake with Airfield Park in Dublin. While the landmark is in reality home to gardens, a cafe, and a city farm, Apple has the place marked down as an airport. Google Maps, which Apple abandoned for iOS 6, correctly identifies the location.
Separate from iTunes Match growth
(Updated with additional countries) Movie support has been added to iTunes in the Cloud in three more regions. The UK, Canada, and Columbia now have access to the feature, which ensures that movies bought on one device are automatically available for download elsewhere. Previously the countries could only use the option for music, apps, books, and music videos.
Jack White, Norah Jones among free concerts
Apple has announced details of the 2012 iTunes Festival, to be held at the Roundhouse in London, England. The event will consist of 30 nights of free concerts by over 60 artists, including the likes of Jack White, Norah Jones, and Usher; only a handful of artists have been announced so far. For 2012, the festival has been moved from July to September.
Apple plans to add 500 jobs, expand functions
The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, has paid a visit to the Apple factory in Cork, Ireland to congratulate the company and its workers on their role in bolstering the economy of the area as well as Europe generally. Ireland has played an increasingly important role for Apple, and the company is planning to expand its presence in Cork with an additional 500 jobs to support its central European office. The plant Kenny visited currently employs 2,800 people.
Expansion will require new Hollyhill office block
Apple is planning on expanding its presence in Cork, Ireland with over 500 more jobs, the Irish Times says. The growth will in fact require the construction of a new office block; the structure should be built sometime within the next 18 months. Apple already has about 2,800 workers located at its Hollyhill campus in Cork, which serves as its European headquarters. The facility handles a variety of operations including manufacturing, supply, and distribution.
Activists target Apple over
Four Greenpeace activists today organized a protest at Apple's office in Cork, Ireland, reports say. The people handed out leaflets, and posted signs on the side of the building, including ones that spelled out "Clean our cloud." Police and fire crews were called, and after an hour the activists voluntarily came down from the office's roof. Greenpeace is allegedly organizing related protests across Europe.
Italy, Spain, Sweden among prominent regions
The third-generation iPad is now on sale in an additional 25 countries. The emphasis is mostly on Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are included. The only non-European countries are in fact Macau, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Goes beyond web, iPad, set-tops
Global iPlayer will make it to the iPhone and iPod touch on December 8th, the BBC has announced. The paid video-on-demand service has been available on the iPad for about five months. A list of countries getting the iPhone app on the 8th includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Shipping times still averaging 1-2 weeks
The iPhone 4S is now formally on sale in 22 more countries, following an expansion of preorders exactly a week ago. For the time being Apple has adopted a European focus; new regions include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. More regions should be added over the course of the next several months.
Ireland, Spain, Sweden among major regions
Apple has opened up iPhone 4S preorders to 22 previously unserved countries. The phone is now available in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Shipping times are typically listed at one to two weeks, a delay consistent with the US online store.
Apple adds bulletpoints for upcoming iPhone event
Apple has dramatically expanded the presence of iTunes in Europe, reports say. In addition to Poland, the iTunes Music Store is now accessible in 11 more European countries. The remainder of the list includes Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
US, Canadian times continue to hold at 3-5 days
Online shipping times for the white iPhone 4 are stretching out in a number European countries. Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the UK are some of the major countries now listing a delay of a flat five days. Black iPhones are more readily available, shipping in the space of a day or two.
Prominent launches include Australia, Canada
Apple has confirmed plans to release the iPhone 4 in 17 more regions on Friday. In North America, Canada will finally get the device; the bulk of additional launches are in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Elsewhere, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore will begin sales.
Second wave of countries due in July
Clearing up a formerly ambiguous timetable, Apple has announced that the international launch of the iPad is now set for May 28th. Nine regions will get the tablet initially: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. A second wave is only expected in July, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
Storefronts distinguished by local studios
Apple has expanded the French and Irish iTunes storefronts, adding movie sales to them for the first time. Visitors to either can buy and rent movies from major American studios, including Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers. Of special interest though may be the regional studios, as Irish shoppers will have access to movies from E1, Optimum and Lionsgate UK, while French shoppers will have access to Pathé, SND and StudioCanal.
Both regions gaining multiple iPhone carriers
International carrier Vodafone has announced plans to sell the iPhone in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. As sales will only begin in early 2010, few details are available, though via the web interested buyers can sign up for more information as it becomes available. Specific release dates, phone prices and subscription costs should be released in the near future.
Japanese iPhone 3GS launch
Japanese shoppers are already in line to buy the iPhone 3G S, which goes on sale with Softbank at 7AM local time on Friday, equivalent to 6PM Eastern on Thursday. Lines are smaller than those for the iPhone 3G launch, according to IDG, at present closer to 100 people at Softbank's flagship Omotesando store. When reservations opened for the 3G S last week, approximately 200 people arrived at the Omotesando location. Online preorders have not been allowed with Japanese iPhones.
Dublin Apple Store rumored
Apple is looking to open a new store in Dublin, Ireland, says the Sunday Tribune. Apple is said to have hired property advisor Jones Land LaSalle to find a location, with urgency being linked to falling rent in Ireland, triggered by the current worldwide recession. The Tribune suggests that Apple is likely searching for a building with about 6,000 square feet split between two levels.
O2 on iPhone activation
The activation process for the iPhone 3G should indeed be in two steps, O2 Ireland has confirmed. As part of its release information on the 3G, the company has mentioned that the first part of activation will involve the SIM card being activated in-store. To actually use the phone, however, people will then have to sync the phone with their computer's copy of iTunes, and run through a separate series of activation steps.
Vodafone iPhone pre-regs
Vodafone India has already begun taking pre-registrations on the iPhone 3G, according to an announcement. The move is unusual in that the company has yet to disclose a final release date for the device, although rival Bharti Airtel is expected to release it on July 11th along with the initial wave of iPhone 3G deployments. Bharti has not formally announced any iPhone plans, including any registration campaigns.
Apple expands iTunes U
Apple on Tuesday further expanded its international iTunes U offerings into four new countries: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. According to Macworld, the free resource provides students with access to a wide variety of educational rich media from colleges and universities around the world, including UC Berkeley, University of Melbourne, Texas A&M, MIT, Yale, and Trinity College Dublin, among many others.
O2 defends Irish iPhone
The Irish version of the iPhone remains a good deal, despite its cost, insists the head of O2 Ireland. The device will be unusually expensive in Ireland, costing €399 ($605) for the 8GB version or €499 ($757) for the 16GB one; the latter costs the equivalent of €430 in the UK, or €370 ($499) in the US. Subscribing to the cheapest possible 18-month contract, an Irish iPhone user will have to pay a minimum of €1,209. This will still only net 1GB of data per month, and 175 minutes of talk-time, without any access to Visual Voicemail.
O2 confirms Irish iPhone
Coming only a day after exploration of Apple's iPhone 1.1.4 firmware revealed references to unsupported carriers, O2 Ireland has confirmed that it will soon be releasing the iPhone for its network. The debut is in fact scheduled to coincide with the beginning of the company's fourth financial quarter, with an official launch set for March 14th. This also marks the beginning of the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
iPhone 1.1.4 & Ireland
Apple's latest iPhone firmware update points to Ireland as the next country to carry the device, according to a new report. Macity claims that in probing the firmware's latest list of supported carriers, references have been added for both T-Mobile Austria and O2 Ireland. No announcements have been made for Ireland, but T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan has himself confirmed the iPhone's arrival in Austria during the first half of 2008.
iPhone in Ireland
Journalist Adrian Weckler is predicting that an Irish iPhone will be seeing release this year, and that the country's 3G Stores will be the distributor for the device. Ireland's Sunday Business Post writes that 3G's CEO Tony Boyle is in talks with Apple to carry the device, after meeting with Steve Jobs at Macworld San Francisco. The chain – which has 23 store locations to its credit – reportedly has a long list of customer's waiting for the MacBook Air, while Boyle anticipates that these numbers may be indicative of interest in the iPhone.