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While Apple is at odds with the European Union over back taxes, Chief Executive Tim Cook heads to France to discuss the topic and other matters with French President Emmanuel Macron.
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Vive La Taxe: Nobody likes paying taxes. Sure, you might hear someone trying to sound altruistic once in a while by saying something like, “I’m proud to pay my taxes because they help support (insert anything from schools to road repair to the building of U. S. Navy cruisers)!” But, let’s admit it: When it comes to payday, everyone looks at what they made before and after the government got its hands on things, and we all just cry a little inside.
Now, if you don’t like it when the taxman takes his slice, imagine how a company like Apple feels. There are many reasons why rich companies get that way, and one of them is that they find ways to pay as few taxes as they can. And one of those ways is by using their operations in foreign countries to move profits around to locations where they can get away with paying fewer taxes on their earnings.
That is one of the topics which Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was set to discuss Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
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Oracle gets targeted in gender-pay-gap lawsuit; Facebook’s Zuckerberg apologizes The taxes that tech companies like Apple pay, or don’t pay, has been one of the topics du jour among the companies themselves, countries like France, and the European Union. Just last week, the E. U. ordered Amazon to pay Luxembourg almost $300 million in back taxes. And in 2016, the E. U. told Apple it had to pay back more than $15 billion, plus interest, on the grounds that the government of Ireland gave the company illegal tax breaks to entice Apple to increase its business operations in the country. The E. U. has even gone so far as to fine Ireland for not even attempting to recover any of those back taxes from Apple.
So, when Tim Cook meets with French President Macron, the matter of taxes could make for an icy situation between the two men. Macron has said he wants to promote France as a place for tech companies to set up shop, but he has also been critical about the role internet companies, in particular, play in society.
Macron has been pretty vocal lately about how France and other E. U. countries should close up the loopholes that Apple and other tech companies have been able to use to move their earnings around to more tax-friendly countries, such as Ireland and Luxembourg.
Maybe Cook could do something to break the ice between Apple and France on the tax matter? Who knows? A new iPhone 8, or even an iPhone X, which is still weeks away from being available to order, might serve as an icebreaker. Apple could probably even afford to pick up the tax on the phone.
Middle Innings:
And Speaking of iPhones: One of the complaints many people have about their iPhones is that as they get older (the phones, not the people), they slow down and don’t perform like they used to. Well, a new report by a company from Finland called Futuremark says iPhones slowing down with age, and due to software upgrades, is really just a myth, and one that you can’t even blame Apple for perpetuating. The study, which looked at 100,000 “benchmarks” from the iPhone 5s, which came out in 2013, through last year’s iPhone 7, found that upgrading to the newest version of Apple iOS operating system had no noticeable effect on the phones’ operations.
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A Riddle Wrapped in an Online Ad: Winston Churchill was known for many things, including a famous description he made about Russia during a radio interview in 1939, when he said it was, “A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” It is all of that, for sure. And it’s also the source of more and more ads on some of the most-popular online sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
And now, the riddle/mystery/enigma of Russian involvement in advertising meant to spread misinformation during last year’s presidential election has spread to Google, which said it has found Russian-linked ads on several of its properties, included YouTube and Gmail .
Quote of the Day: “It was an inferno like you’ve never seen before.” — Marian Williams, of the Sonoma County town of Kenwood. Williams was referring to the fires that raged through parts of Sonoma and Napa counties Monday, and which burned at least 1,500 homes and businesses, and forced the evacuation of more than 20,000 people.
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