By Ed Sutherland on May 22, 2013
More than $1 trillion leaked from the tax coffers of EU member states each year, an amount large enough to prompt European leaders Wednesday to hold a summit on reforming corporate taxes. The move follows high-profile investigations showing Apple and other tech giants used European countries to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating how the iPhone maker used a hole in Ireland’s tax laws to lower its U.S. tax burden on $74 billion held overseas… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2013
In a preliminary ruling, the European Commission on Monday found that Motorola Mobility had abused its dominance in wireless communications patents in seeking an injunction against Apple in Germany. The finding opens the door to a potential antitrust charges to be filed against Google. The EU in its formal statement of objections informed the Google-owned smartphone maker of its allegations that it had leveraged its market position and abused standards-essential patents in order to enforce an injunction against Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2013
The AppGratis app curation software is no longer available on the App Store but the controversy is far from being over. After AppGratis CEO Simon Dawalt lambasted Apple on a company blog for kicking his app out of the App Store, a move he called “an absolutely crazy situation to deal with,” a French minister today slagged the iPhone maker over the ouster. Fleur Pellerin, France’s junior minister for digital economy, publicly described Apple’s decision to pull AppGratis as “extremely brutal and unilateral.”
She urged European regulators to “think about legislation” because Apple is not “behaving ethically” in its dealings with small startups like AppGratis… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 22, 2013
The cost of selling the iPhone is anything but cheap – just ask Sprint. Because Apple makes the iconic smartphone which helps sell pricey wireless contracts, carriers typically agree to Apple’s way of doing biz that entail committing to large-volume iPhone purchases costing billions of dollars in upfront payments.
Sprint, America’s third-largest carrier, for example, bought an astounding $15.5 billion worth of iPhones to be sold over the course of four years. The New York Times reported Thursday that European Union regulators are taking a closer look at Apple’s iPhone distribution agreements with European carriers, who remark that these contracts are “unusually strict” and assert that Apple’s behavior could be viewed as anticompetitive… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2013
Apple’s woes over its shady warranty practices in Europe just took a turn for the worse as the European Union through the mouth of its Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding made it clear it has no intention of letting Apple off the hook. In her speech today, she criticized the tech giant for not complying with consumer laws in many EU states.
The Cupertino firm stubbornly insists on its AppleCare terms of service which aren’t in sync with EU laws. The company had been previously reprimanded of failing to communicate in no unambiguous terms to its EU buyers that they are entitled to an additional year of coverage… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2013
The Article 29, a watchdog comprised of the European Union’s top privacy protection groups, today issued a set of new recommendations aimed at app developers and tech giants that run the mobile application stores in the latest attempt to bring order to how your apps handle your private information.
The new set of more detailed recommendations arrives following the recent EU probe into the privacy practices of Google and other tech firms.
The United States Federal Trade Commission set out a similar set of guidelines last month so EU’s new recommendations could have serious ramifications on how Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store and other application stores operate… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2013
Apple’s warranty adventure in the European Union is far from being over. After the company failed to properly communicate to its Italian consumers that they were entitled to a EU-wide two-year warranty (first warranty year provided by the manufacturer and the second by the seller), for which it was fined $264,000 last month and $1.2 million in March, now Apple has gotten itself into trouble with a Belgian consumer watchdog, Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 20, 2012
The European Union will “very soon” charge Samsung over its practice of filing injunctions against Apple in Europe, Reuters reported Thursday. The news arrives after Samsung dropped all of its injunctions and injunction requests against Cupertino, California-based Apple’s gadgets in Europe and following a U.S. ruling that threw Samsung’s alleged jury misconduct claim out of the window.
The European Union in January launched a formal investigation into a potential breach of EU antitrust rules concerning Samsung’s use of standards-essential patents… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2012
In an exclusive report out this morning, Reuters reports that EU regulators are going to accept an offer proposed by Apple and four e-book publishers that will allow retailers like Amazon to sell digital books at lower prices compared to iBookstore. Publishers Simon & Schuster, News Corp unit HarperCollins, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Livre, and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, the owner of German company Macmillan, all offered concessions back in August and Apple in September abandoned its e-book agency model in EU in order to avoid a potentially harming anti-trust investigation… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2012
Bloomberg reports today that EU Justice Minister Viviane Reding is calling for local authorities in the European Union’s member states to see whether Apple complies with local laws pertaining to product warranties. If they determine that Apple did not advertise its warranty policies appropriately, the company could face an EU-wide probe into its practices by all 27 of the European Union’s member states.
Apple already clashed with Italy, where authorities found it guilty of selling its $99 a year AppleCare coverage even though a two-year warranty is mandated by the European Union, for which Apple was fined $1.16 million and even faced temporary closure of Italy operations… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2012
Apple’s doing lots of clarifying lately, that much is clear. Just this day, the company finally tweaked the problematic “4G” wording for the new iPad in Australia and clarified warranty coverage options in the European Union.
In both these instances, Apple moved only following regulatory pressure or when threatened with class-action lawsuits.
So, if you live in Australia and felt misled with Apple’s “4G” iPad marketing in the country, you’re in for a treat. Hop over to the iPad specs page on the Australia online Apple store and see an added line stating the device “is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks”. Read More
By Sebastien Page on Feb 13, 2012
Google has gotten the all-clear from European Union regulators to buy Motorola Mobility, though officials remain concerned about how Google will use Motorola’s patent portfolio.
“This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices,” Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters, according to Reuters. “This is our worry.”
Hours after the EU gave its agreement, the US Department of Justice gave its blessing as well:
With this, Google is one step closer to closing the deal, although they’re still waiting on approval from China, Taiwan, and Israel before the transaction can officially be completed.
World War III is just about to start, and it’s all about patents!
By Guest Author on Sep 27, 2010
When we reported that Apple had relaxed their App Store guidelines we anticipated the arrival of apps that had been put on hold. What was left out of the conversation was the affect it would have on its pending investigation by the European Commissions office.
It was over a month ago when we originally brought you the news that the EU would be joining the Federal Trade Commissions in investigating Apple for their conduct in the dispute regarding Adobe and Flash. It turns out that when Apple opted to relax their rules it relaxed the temperament of the authorities… Read More
By Guest Author on Aug 10, 2010
Steve Jobs must really hate Flash. Aside from his public comments on the software, which he basically cited that Adobe’s prize-fighter wasn’t good enough to adapt into productive mobile use, he just (seemingly) won’t give in. His hand might be getting forced, however, as it seems the European Union regulators have joined forces with the Federal Trade Commission, regarding “mobile software developers”. This, of course means Flash.
The guys over at 9 to 5 Mac brought this ever evolving story to our attention, which cites the New York Times reporting, the European Union has brought itself into what it calls, a “Digital Agenda”. Sounds scary. The “agenda” is aimed to (forcefully) encourage interoperability between technology. Basically they’re making sure everyone plays nicely together.
Whether or not this correlation of forces will be what finally tips Apple’s hand in the never-ending game of Rummy, only time will tell. We at iDB will continue to bring you the latest and greatest from this evolving beast. Until then, Apple and Adobe will have their respective lines drawn in the sandbox, as assurance to not let their balls into each other’s playpen.