Europe


'Europe' Articles

Apple to Attend EU Hearing on Tuesday to Discuss Taxes

Apple, Google, McDonald's, and IKEA representatives will be in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss their tax deals in Europe, reports Reuters. The hearing will be hosted by the European Parliament's tax committee, but the lawmakers do not have the power to order any changes, according to the report. Nevertheless, the meeting should raise some important questions about each company's compliance with EU tax rules in the past and present. Apple is one of several multinational corporations that have been targeted for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe. In September 2014, the European Commission formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland, where it has reportedly paid a reduced tax rate of around 1.8% on it overseas profits. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to 60% of its revenue. The company's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% tax rate, in which case it would owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's request for additional information has pushed the investigation into 2016. Last week, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told reporters "don't hold your breath" in terms of when the commission will make a decision. Apple previously said it pays all of its taxes and added that it would appeal any decision made against the company. Update: While Reuters says the hearing will take place on

EU Competition Chief on Apple Tax Probe: 'Don't Hold Your Breath'

A decision in the European Commission's probe of Apple's tax affairs in Ireland may not be reached soon, according to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager (via Bloomberg).“Don’t hold your breath,” she told reporters in Brussels on Monday about the timing of decisions targeting Apple and online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc, whose tax affairs in Luxembourg are also under intense scrutiny. “I’m just warning you.”Apple is one of several multinational corporations, alongside Amazon, McDonald's, Starbucks, and others, that have been targeted for possible corporate tax avoidance in Europe. Brussels launched the probe in June 2014, and it formally accused the iPhone maker of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland three months later. If Apple's $64.1 billion in profits generated from 2004 to 2012 are subjected to a 12.5% tax rate, compared to its current foreign tax rate of about 1.8%, the company could owe more than $8 billion in back taxes. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to appeal any decision that goes against the company. Apple operates multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to pay significantly less tax outside of the U.S., where it earns up to 60% of its revenue. A decision in the tax probe was originally expected in late 2015, but the European Commission's request for additional information has pushed the investigation into 2016. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow

Tim Cook Visits Europe to Meet EU Antitrust Chief, Pope Francis and Italian Developers

Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to Europe this week to meet with European Commission antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in Brussels on Thursday, before heading to Rome on Friday to meet Pope Francis and Italian developers. Cook first met with Vestager to lobby against an European tax investigation that could force the iPhone and iPad maker to pay more than $8 billion in back taxes on overseas earnings, according to Bloomberg. European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Image: Hungary Today) Apple is accused of operating multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to avoid paying higher taxes outside the United States, where it earns just under 60% of its revenue. Apple books its taxes in Ireland using low operating costs, allowing it to pay a foreign tax rate of only 1.8%, according to the report. If the European Commission finds wrongdoing with Apple’s corporate arrangement in Ireland, the company's $64.1 billion in profit generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% corporate tax rate -- just over $8 billion in back taxes. A decision in the probe could be made by March, but may take longer due to additional information requested by European regulators. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative verdict. Meanwhile, the agenda of Cook's meeting with Pope Francis remains private. The 15-minute discussion was held at 11:30 a.m. local time. Pope Francis is known to incorporate technology into his position and takes to Twitter fairly regularly to share messages, and his old iPad was

Apple Now Accepting iPhone 6s In-Store Reservations in Second Wave Launch Countries

Apple is now accepting iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in-store reservations through its Reserve and Pickup program in six European countries where the smartphones are set to launch this Friday, October 9, including Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus reservations on Apple Online Store in Switzerland European customers can select an iPhone model, color and storage size and make a reservation at a local Apple Store for in-store pickup on October 9. Most iPhone 6s models remain available for in-store reservation in all six countries, but iPhone 6s Plus models are very limited at most locations. When you arrive at the Apple Store during your 30-minute check-in window, most locations should have a special line for customers with reservations. Only the person named on the reservation can pick up the iPhone -- bring a government-issued photo ID. Reservations are limited to 2 per customer. The new iPhones launch in 40 more countries on October 9: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. Apple plans to launch the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in over 130 countries by yearend.

T-Mobile Expands Simple Global Coverage to All of Europe and South America

T-Mobile has announced the expansion of its Simple Global coverage to an additional 20 countries to now cover all of Europe and South America. Simple Global is now available in the Bahamas and 145 total countries worldwide, covering more than 90% of the areas that Americans travel abroad each year. Simple Global provides Simple Choice postpaid customers with unlimited low-speed data and texting at no extra cost, and flat-rate calls for 20 cents per minute, outside of the United States. It is complemented by Mobile Without Borders, which allows full talk, text and 4G LTE data usage in Canada and Mexico at no extra cost.“We’ve just made your traveling even easier in 20 more destinations around the world, expanding Simple Global to cover all of Europe and all of South America,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “The carriers have made billions overcharging consumers who just want to stay connected overseas, and we’ve changed all that! Today, we made it even simpler to text, search or keep up on social media in a total of 145 countries and destinations, all at no extra cost!”Simple Global is now available in these additional countries and destinations: Caribbean: Bahamas, Haiti Europe: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey, Sark, Isle of Man Others: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, KyrgyzstanSimple Global provides a standard data speed of 128 Kbps. No tethering is allowed. Update: Sprint has also added 33 new countries to Open World, which provides free calling and

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Priced Higher in Canada, Australia and Europe as U.S. Dollar Remains Strong

Apple has set higher prices for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Canada, Australia and other countries to reflect a strengthening U.S. dollar and fluctuating currency exchange rates. The off-contract prices for the iPhone 6s Plus in Canada, for example, are $1,029, $1,159 and $1,289 CAD for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage space respectively. Comparatively, the iPhone 6 Plus cost $969, $1,099 and $1,229 in Canadian dollars for the same capacities prior to Apple's media event yesterday. That is $60 less for each model. The off-contract prices for the iPhone 6s Plus in Australia are $1,229, $1,379 and $1,529 AUD for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage respectively. Earlier this week, the iPhone 6 Plus retailed for $1,149, $1,299 and $1,449 in Australian dollars for the same storage sizes respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have higher prices at launch than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in euro-based countries such as France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. The base 16GB iPhone 6 retailed for €699 last September, for example, while the 16GB iPhone 6s will debut for €739. Not all countries have been affected by the exchange rate, however, as the iPhone 6s Plus is priced the same as the iPhone 6 Plus in the United Kingdom. iPhone 6 Plus was most recently priced at £619, £699 and £789 in the U.K. for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively, while the iPhone 6s Plus will have equal prices. The new iPhone 6s Plus retains the same pricing as the iPhone 6 Plus in the

Apple Being Sued in Europe Over 'iWatch' Ad Campaign on Google

Irish software development studio Probendi is suing Apple in a Milan court for using its "iWatch" trademark in Europe as part of a Google AdWords campaign, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been paying for sponsored links on Google in an attempt to redirect users that search for "iWatch" to the Apple Watch website, in order to avoid missing out on customers that search for the wrong product name.“Apple has systematically used iWatch wording on Google search engine in order to direct customers to its own website, advertising Apple Watch,” says a tribunal filing obtained by Bloomberg. “Apple never replied to our requests and objections, while Google said they are not responsible for links.” "iWatch" was a commonly used name to refer to Apple's much-rumored smartwatch before it was released, however the device was ultimately named the Apple Watch. Apple filed for "iWatch" trademarks in Japan, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey and other countries, but Probendi has owned the trademark in Europe since 2008 for its health and safety communication software. Google's AdWords trademark policy states that it "will investigate and may enforce certain restrictions on the use of that trademark in AdWords text ads," but the company has yet to take any action against Apple. As of writing, searching for "iWatch" on Google in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and multiple other European countries still displays Apple Watch sponsored text ads. Probendi originally planned to capitalize on Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch last year by using its "iWatch" trademark in

Apple Raises Prices in Europe and Canada as U.S. Dollar Remains Strong

While the high-end 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display was discounted from $2,499 to $2,299 today, Apple has raised the prices on several other products in Europe and Canada as the U.S. dollar continues to remain strong against the euro and other international currencies. The affected countries in the European Union include Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland and multiple others. iMac prices increased by between €150 to €300 in Europe per configuration All non-Retina 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models in affected countries are now between 150 to 300 euros more expensive starting today. The base configuration iMac, for example, increased from €1,099 to €1,249, while the high-end 27-inch iMac without Retina display rose from €1,799 to €2,099. Prices may vary slightly between countries due to applicable local taxes and tariffs. Apple also increased the price of the Mac Pro by between 400 to 600 euros, with the base model going from €2,999 to €3,399 and the high-end configuration now priced at €4,599 up from €3,999. The base model Mac mini increased 50 euros to €569, while the mid-tier and top-tier configurations were bumped up 100 euros to cost €819 and €1,129 respectively. 12-inch MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air prices have not changed. Mac Pro prices increased by between $200 to $400 in Canada per configuration Meanwhile, the price of non-Retina 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models increased by $100 to $150 in Canada as conversion rates continue to fluctuate. Similarly, the Mac Pro now costs between $200 to $400 more in Canada