By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014
The most recent beta of iOS 8 has introduced an easily overlooked new option under the Cellular section of the iOS Settings app. It’s called ‘EU Internet,’ applies only to those traveling in the European Union and is a bit puzzling.
As a quick recap, exorbitant roaming charges for data downloads in the European Union have already been reduced in an effort to make prices more realistic for those using mobile devices outside their home country.
That’s just the beginning as the European parliament recently passed a new regulation, currently needing an approval by the Council of the European Union, that promises to render all roaming charges in the EU illegal by December 2015.
As a result, European customers will always pay the same price for all phone calls, text messages and mobile data usage everywhere in the EU… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014
The European Commission has okayed Apple’s purchase of the Beats Music streaming-music service and Beats Electronics’ premium headphone business, concluding that the agreement would not be detrimental to consumers across Europe. This is an important though expected development as Apple hopes to complete the $3 billion transaction by the end of the September quarter, pending regulatory approval in the United States… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014
In-App Purchase, a way overused feature which provides a way for supposedly free games and apps to ask users for cash in order to enable advanced features or unlock virtual items, is increasingly drawing ire of regulators across the globe.
In-App Purchases are notorious for fooling less-informed adults and kids into downloading so-called freemium apps so it’s no wonder the European Union officials have repeatedly warned that companies like Apple and Google should stop labeling free-to-download apps that contain In-App Purchases as “Free”.
Companies could soon be forced to make the “true cost of apps” unambiguously clear before purchase, according to a complaint the European Commission filed today… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014
For quite some time now, Apple has been at odds with EU watchdogs who’ve been complaining a lot about the iPhone maker’s unacceptable stance and practices when it comes to educating EU buyers on their consumer rights.
At the heart of the issue: Apple’s unwillingness to explain to its users in an unambiguous manner that EU consumer laws entitle them to at least two years of coverage on consumer electronics.
As Apple’s standard warranty provides twelve months of coverage, the company was caught cunningly beating around the bush by attempting to upsell buyers to its pricey AppleCare+ extended protection plan, which it introduced last September in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and elsewhere in Europe.
Apple was even fined over this in Italy and now comes word that a Belgium judge has contemplated blocking access to all Apple websites in the country because the company has continued to mislead consumers about warranty protections available for products purchased from its brick-and-mortar and online stores… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2014
Reuters is reporting that The European Commission has invited Apple and Google to discuss a flurry of user complaints surrounding in-app purchases. The move follows numerous media reports that center on disgruntled parents who were shocked to find that their children racked up vast credit card bills by making content purchases in free-to-play games.
The Commission is arguing that it’s Apple’s and Google’s responsibility not to misleading consumers. The Commission also called upon greedy app creators to provide “very concrete answers” in respect to in-app purchasing concerns… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014
After asking the United States Supreme Court to approve of stiffer penalties for patent trolls who bring frivolous lawsuits against them, Apple and Samsung – along with seventeen other technology companies – have joined forces and issued a letter to the European Union asking for limits on injunctions in patent infringement cases.
As reported by Bloomberg, the companies are asking EU judges to curb patent trolls and introduce anti-trolling changes into Unified Patent Court and the upcoming European Unitary Patent system… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2013
EU lawmakers agreed yesterday to draft legislation that will force all mobile phone manufacturers to consent to the use of a common standard for battery chargers which can fit any device. The draft could be voted on by the EU Parliament as early as March 2014.
While many see this as a huge win for consumers, who would no longer have to purchase new charging accessories for different devices, it would be a huge blow to Apple. The company uses a propriety plug, the Lightning connector, in all of its iOS product lines… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Sep 27, 2013
Apple and more than a dozen other titans of technology have written to European Union officials, expressing concern that a unified patent court system could encourage patent trolls to expand their lawsuits overseas.
New rules now being developed could create “significant opportunities for abuse” allowing patent owners to “extract substantial royalties,” according to the letter obtained by the New York Times.
Starting in 2015 trolls could take infringement cases to non-member countries or nations without much experience, creating a European version of the Eastern District of Texas. Courts in that U.S. district are notorious for rulings favorable to companies suing tech firms, according to the letter… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Sep 25, 2013
Apple is yet again under investigation. An arm of France’s finance ministry is probing how the iPhone maker contracts with French cell phone carriers.The examination comes less than a week after Apple released two new smartphones, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the administrative section of the country’s finance department is “investigating the terms of contracts between cellphone suppliers and French phone operators for the sale of devices such as the iPhone.”… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 26, 2013
The EC announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with book publisher Penguin, ending its antitrust probe into the company. As part of the settlement, the New York-based firm has agreed to terminate its iBooks deal with Apple.
Penguin is one of 5 major publishers that allegedly conspired with Apple to lower ebook prices, sparking antitrust investigations in both the US and Europe. But it looks like this resolution will put an end to the European Commission’s quest… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jul 9, 2013
It’s a common practice now under fire from Germany’s finance chief: giving corporations tax breaks to locate and develop their patents – and hopefully hire local workers. In a Europe struggling with widespread economic troubles, the tactic known as the ‘patent box’ should stop, Germany asked a gathering of European Union finance ministers.
At the heart of the dispute between Germany and other European countries are reports Apple and others multinationals used local tax laws to save money… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2013
The European Union six months ago launched a formal investigation into a potential breach of EU antitrust rules by Samsung. The antitrust investigation focused on the South Korean conglomerate’s handling of industry-essential patents that EU regulators insist should be licensed to others on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND).
The investigation determined that Samsung was abusing its patent portfolio by seeking high royalties it knew didn’t make business sense, just so it could later assert those patents against rivals such as Apple. ”Samsung has been involved in settlement discussions for several months now,” an unnamed source told Reuters on Tuesday. “Samsung wants to settle”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2013
The New York Times back in March reported that a group of unnamed European wireless carriers complained to the European Commission about Apple’s strict volume and marketing commitments in regard to iPhone sales. Today, the Financial Times claims to have seen documents proving that Brussels is moving a probe into iPhone sales tactics to the next stage.
The news couldn’t have come at a worst time for Apple, which earlier this month faced U.S. Senators who grilled CEO Tim Cook along with two other high-ranked executives over Apple’s tax avoidance tricks and refusal to repatriate revenue from sales made overseas… Read More
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