All posts on September, 2016


Echo Owners May Get Their Own Kind of Music

Amazon is planning two music subscription services, according to rumors that began circulating last week. One is a $10 a month offering that is similar to Spotify and Apple Music, and the other is a $4-$5 a month cut-rate service available only on Amazon’s Echo device. Amazon reportedly wants to launch both in September, but it has yet to finalize deals with major music labels and publishers.

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ApprovedBusinessBusiness and finance

The €13 billion bite

MARGRETHE VESTAGER, the EU’s competition commissioner (pictured), likes to knit elephants in her spare time, because, she once said, “they bear no grudge, but they remember well”. It is hard to imagine executives at one of the big beasts of the tech world forgetting August 30th 2016 in a hurry: that is when Ms Vestager told the Irish government to recover up to €13 billion ($14.5 billion), plus interest, in unpaid taxes from Apple. The decision was expected, but the figure was higher than experts had predicted.


The ruling is the most important—and controversial—moment so far in the war on corporate tax avoidance. Tax-justice campaigners hooted with delight. Apple was livid, and vowed to appeal. The Irish government may follow; its finance minister, Michael Noonan, would rather “defend the integrity of our tax system”, as he put it, than accept a windfall that would exceed Ireland’s annual health budget. Politicians in America, Apple’s home market, denounced the move as a “tax grab”.

The commission concluded that Irish rulings in 1991 and 2007 artificially lowered the tax Apple was due to pay, and that…Continue reading

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