Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 21st Dec 2016 22:48 UTC
Apple

On Monday, an angry Apple appealed against an August ruling by the European Commission ordering the company to pay Ireland some €13 billion in back taxes, plus interest. Disappointingly, the Silicon Valley tech giant failed to address the fundamentals of the case, relying instead on a series of ad hominem attacks and procedural objections. If this is the best the company has to offer, it deserves to lose its case and pay its bills in full.

The problem for Apple (and Ireland) is that the company has no leg to stand on - so it has to resort to flat-out lies, like stating laws are being applied retroactively (not true - the treaties and laws applied are much older than this case) or that the case is unprecedented and Apple is being singled out (not true - dozes of companies all across the EU have been punished for the same thing) or that it's just anti-American rhetoric (not true - many of the punished companies are European).

What's even worse for Apple - this thing is a PR nightmare, at least here in Europe. In many European countries, we're used to relatively high taxes (compared to other parts of the world), so large corporations, be they American, European or otherwise, paying an effective tax rate of only 0,005 (no joke!), doesn't exactly sit well with European citizens.

It's really hard to swallow for people in a EU net contributor country like The Netherlands to see our tax money sent to Ireland in the form of bailouts - Ireland received a €64 billion bailout from the EU after the 2008 banking crisis - while Ireland then proceeds to illegally give Apple one of the biggest tax breaks in history. It's a little populist to frame it this way, but here it goes: I pay taxes to my government in the assumption they would go to maintaining services in my own country and all across Europe (I'd like other nations to come to our aid, too, if we were ever in such a position), while in reality, a part of it went to Tim Cook. That irks me.

Apple is not going to win this case. The EU's case is strong, detailed, and built on a solid base of legal precedent. And this brings us to Trump's meeting with technology leaders last week. During that meeting, Tim Cook also got some one-on-one-one time with Trump (and Elon Musk), something not all attendees were granted. When asked by Apple employees why Tim Cook attended the meeting, he had this to say (among other things):

We have other things that are more business-centric - like tax reform - and something we've long advocated for: a simple system. And we’d like intellectual property reform to try to stop the people suing when they don’t do anything as a company.

Apple has several hundred billion dollars sitting in foreign, non-US bank accounts. If it were to repatriate that money, Apple would have to pay the United States corporate tax, which amounts to about 39.6%. Apple obviously doesn't want to pay those taxes, so that's why it keeps its massive cash pile in foreign bank accounts.

Apple wants a tax holiday. It wants the US government to give Apple a special tax deal wherein it can repatriate those more than 200 billion dollars at a much, much lower tax rate, and with a Republican president, Senate, and House, such a deal seems a lot closer than it was before. However, the Trump administration is, obviously, not going to declare such a tax holiday out of the goodness of their hearts. This is politics, this is business; nothing comes for free.

This means Apple will have to give the Trump administration something it wants, and if you look at Trump's campaign, one of the first things that could come to mind is Apple bringing manufacturing back to the US. The problem here is that bringing manufacturing back to the US is a multi-decade undertaking of strengthening, improving, and expanding vocational education, construction of factories, and the development of brand new manufacturing lines (assuming it's even possible at all, which is a big assumption). Tim Cook can't just snap his fingers and magically recreate Foxconn in the US - this will take decades, and far outlive Trump's four-year or even eight-year term, at which point some other president will take credit for it.

Trump will want something else - and it's going to be Apple's cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and homeland security - big, big issues during Trump's campaign. During the campaign, Trump called for a boycott of Apple because the company refused to assist the FBI in breaking into a terrorist's iPhone. Admirably, Apple and Tim Cook took a very principled stand against it, standing up for encryption and user privacy.

And here we have it. I wouldn't be surprised if over the coming years, Apple will be forced to choose between a tax holiday for its 200+ billion dollars stored in foreign bank accounts on the one side, and encryption and user privacy on the other. How do you think shareholders will react when they hear Apple can repatriate more than 200 billion dollars at a very low tax rate... And all they have to do is give in on encryption and user privacy? Do you think shareholders will be able to resist that?

Do you think Tim Cook will be able to resist that?

The coming years will be a massive test for Apple and Tim Cook. How much is their loudly proclaimed morality - and by extension, that of their customers - worth?

Order by: Score:
Easy out for Tim Cook or nefarious plan?
by bannor99 on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:06 UTC
bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

As the man in charge, Cook might be able to wring his hands, wipe a tear from his eye and claim fiduciary duty and patriotism outweighed the rights of terrorists.
And think of the children.
But what if this was his plan all along, to have a bargaining chip against the gov't who were never to going to accept his supposedly principled stance against weakening Apple's encryption?

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

But what if this was his plan all along, to have a bargaining chip against the gov't who were never to going to accept his supposedly principled stance against weakening Apple's encryption?


That's a pretty long con, and he had no guarantee of a Republican in the White House; indeed, everyone thought Trump would lose badly and even his strongest supporters were blown away by the election results.

I don't disagree that Cook will likely use said bargaining chip, but it will be a matter of seizing on a surprise chance, not a years-in-the-making conspiracy.

Reply Score: 3

bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15



That's a pretty long con, and he had no guarantee of a Republican in the White House; indeed, everyone thought Trump would lose badly and even his strongest supporters were blown away by the election results.

I don't disagree that Cook will likely use said bargaining chip, but it will be a matter of seizing on a surprise chance, not a years-in-the-making conspiracy.

The Republican have held the House & Senate for years and were only expected to lose seats, not control.
Apple (among others) have been taking flak for a long time about offshored money. There's little doubt that between their lawyers, accountants & mgmt, they've have a number of schemes to get a favorable tax break if they feel pressured to repatriate all that cash.

Reply Score: 3

this is not as bad as it appears
by jonsmirl on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:16 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

First, not paying those taxes has made Apple's stock go up. When people sell this appreciated stock it generates taxable income in the country that they live in. Making Apple pay a big tax bill to Ireland will make the stock fall which will result in no taxable gains until it recovers. So a full $14B is not going to be gained.

Second, those taxes are owed to the US, not the EU. Apple is using a quirk in US tax law to defer its taxable income in the US, but it is just deferred not eliminated. When Apple is unable to keep the deferral game going some huge US tax bills are going to come due - around $30B. This $30B tax liability is shown in Apple's financial statements.

The way US tax law works -- if Apple pays Ireland the $14B Apple would receive a $14B deduction from the $30B it owes the US government. So the EU is effectively taking money from the US government and giving it to Ireland, not from Apple.

My fix would be to alter US tax law so that these payments cannot be endlessly deferred.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...I don't think you understood the article. None of your points are relevant.

Reply Score: 2

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

The root problem is giving US based corporations the ability to defer income taxes on foreign based income. The 0.005% tax rate is because the taxes were deferred, not because Apple wasn't taxed. When those taxes finally get collected the rate won't be 0.005% any more for that year.

Of course Apple is going to try and horse trade with Trump to reduce their bill.

But the real fix is to stop this ability to defer paying taxes. Apple owes $30B in deferred US taxes, that is not in dispute. To get out of paying that US law has to change. Otherwise when the deferral merry-go-round stops, the bill comes due.

So I'd tell Trump to shut off the merry-go-round, make the taxes comes due, and now he has some real leverage.

Reply Score: 2

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is that I want Trump to shut off the deferral merry-go-round which would make the taxes immediately due at 35%. Then start negotiating.

This is a much stronger tactic than leaving the deferral mechanism in place and granting a tax holiday. That scheme gives all of the control and power to Apple and Trump is likely to get nothing out of them.

Reply Score: 2

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

You want multi-billionaire businessman Donald Trump to close tax loopholes that are being exploited by the very people he's been assigning to cabinet posts? Good luck with that.

Edited 2016-12-22 01:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Give him a chance. He supports Paul Ryan's plan and might be able to push through major tax reform which lowers brackets in exchange for closing all of the loopholes. Republicans in the House have wanted to do this for years. The problem is getting this tax reform passed by the Senate.

Reply Score: 2

Sopota Member since:
2015-08-07

The main reason for closing loopholes is just to make, for once, the rich and wealthy pay their share of taxes.

If the reform means they are going to pay more, even with way lower % taxes, then I doubt the same people in charge to do this that also benefits from the loopholes will make it happen.

Reply Score: 2

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

None of your points are relevant.

Of course they are, just not to you.

Apple has been a tax cheat for years-- as Americans, we know this, because it's our taxes they haven't been paying.

Personally, I point and laugh, and hope that Apple winds up paying more money to the EU than they would have paid by keeping their cash in the US.

Reply Score: 8

RE: this is not as bad as it appears
by rener on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 13:04 UTC in reply to "this is not as bad as it appears"
rener Member since:
2006-02-27

??? Apple sells billions worth of iGoods and iApps in the EU - why do you think taxes on profit should only go into the US ???

Reply Score: 1

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Under current law the taxes are owed to the US. Apple earned the profits under that law. Apple recognizes this and has a liability on its balance sheet for the $30B it owes.

You can argue about whether those laws should be changed for the future.

Edited 2016-12-22 13:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

rener Member since:
2006-02-27

governments and authorities in the EU apparently disagree with your personal opinion, ...

Reply Score: 1

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

It is a fact that Apple currently owes about $30B in deferred US corporate tax.

What the EU is trying to do is retroactively alter the law so that a big chunk of the $30B would go to the EU instead of the US. This is not going to change Apple's total tax bill. If the EU prevails all that is going to happen is that Apple owes $14B to the EU and $16B to the US.

-- not all of the $30B is from the EU, that is a worldwide number. How it breaks down is not disclosed.

The huge flaw in all of this is the loophole that lets Apple defer paying the US tax. If that loophole didn't exist the $14B wouldn't be sitting there for the EU to try and grab.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What the EU is trying to do is retroactively alter the law so that a big chunk of the $30B would go to the EU instead of the US.


No - you're drinking the Tim Cook kool-aid. Nobody is retroactively changing anything. The law states that you have to pay corporate tax over the stuff you sell in - in this case - Ireland. Apple pipes all its sales in the EU through Ireland, so it should pay Ireland's corporate tax, which is about 12.5%.

In order to evade taxes, Apple and Ireland entered into an agreement to give Apple a special tax rate of almost zero. EU treaties and law in effect at the time of this deal makes it very clear that such deals are ILLEGAL, since they are a form of ILLEGAL state aid. Several other companies - inlcuding companies in The Netherlands and Belgium - have found themselves afoul of this exact same illegal form of tax-based state aid.

American taxes have absolutely nothing to do with this.

Reply Score: 3

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Fine -- penalize Ireland for the $14B.

Apple followed the law that was in place at the time so it owes the taxes to the US. And Trump needs to stop the deferral merry-go-round and make Apple pay them.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Fine -- penalize Ireland for the $14B.

Apple followed the law that was in place at the time so it owes the taxes to the US.


No. That's not how tax law works. Even if your tax agency makes a mistake and charges you too little tax over 2016, you will still have to pay said back taxes at some point, whether you like it or not. That's no different for companies. Apple paid too little in taxes while partaking in a deal it could have known was highly illegal (such a large corporation with so many lawyers really can't claim it didn't understand the law - that would be pathetic).

So no, Apple will just have to pay up.

Reply Score: 3

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

No you are mistaken. The crux of the issue is that Apple didn't follow EU law. It made a deal with Ireland to abrogate that law on the assumption that this would trump EU law but - at least according to the EU - it doesn't.

Ireland and Apple argue that the Irish deal does trump EU law and the EU is reinterpreting the laws to punish them retroactively.

Both points have some merit. Apple and Ireland are clearly in violation of the EU laws in question but, on the other hand, Ireland has been doing this sort of things for decades giving at least the impression that the EU accepted its interpretation and now it doesn't ( which is fine, but in most countries they wouldn't do so retroactively).

Reply Score: 5

Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

There was no deal though, instead a tax loophole was highlighted and a position of "if nobody talks about it we won't legislate to close the loophole"

Any company that had a competent tax accountant or was paying a Big 4 accountancy firm could use the same loophole in the law. There's reason why Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Google etc have their European HQ in Dublin and it's not due to fact that we are English speaking economy as some politicians like to claim.

As for the so called bailout. The Irish government wanted to burn the bondholders in Anglo-Irish Bank (the EU equivalent of lehman brothers), Trichet warned that a "bomb would go off in Dublin" if such a course of action occurred. Anglo-Irish bank as result cost the Irish state nearly €30billion, all because the ECB couldn't stand idea of a European bank going bust. (It's now been wound down anyways).

Given that Dutch and other European fishermen have taken guts of €200 billion in fish catch out of Irish territorial waters in the last 40 years it's bit rich moaning about been "Net contributor".

In any case there will be two separate court cases, one by the Irish government and the other by Apple, given that they'll take 3-5 years and with Brexit occurring in same time period, there's good chance that.



1. Ireland may consider leaving EU -- most of Irish trade will be with non EU states (eg. US and UK are two biggest markets)
2. EU could potentially implode.

The increasing possibility of a hard Brexit will full exist from custom union if anything increases the odds of future Irish exit hugely. Particularly as the implications of a hard-border on the island of Ireland could result in the collapse of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Edited 2016-12-23 19:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Apple won't pay
by unclefester on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:29 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The EU will be gone in a few years. Ireland will very quickly revert to a poverty stricken backwater without EU subsidies.

The Trump administration will lower the corporate tax rate to 15%. That will mean vast amounts of money will be repatriated to the US. US companies will close many of their foreign operations because they will no longer be tax effective.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Apple won't pay
by RobG on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:40 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

It won't be a great loss to see them go, as they paid F**k all taxes anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple won't pay
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:47 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The EU will be gone in a few years.


Willing to bet? I'd love to bet a few hundred euros on this one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple won't pay
by tkeith on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple won't pay"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Wait a minute...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Apple won't pay
by grat on Wed 21st Dec 2016 23:48 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Trump can lower the corporate tax all he wants-- unless he closes existing loopholes, corporations like Apple will continue to pay less than 3% in taxes to the US, and continue moving their businesses overseas (like Trump himself).

Expecting anything else is naivete of the highest order.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Apple won't pay
by Alfman on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple won't pay"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

grat,

That's a good point, it seems likely that Trump will continue to maximize tax avoidance loopholes for himself and the wealthy class. He's made a career of screwing over others to line his pockets. He won't change now just because he is president, he's going to use the power of the presidency to push his own agenda further.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Apple won't pay
by dionicio on Sat 24th Dec 2016 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Apple won't pay"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Tea Party could be -at times- wishing to do good to His Country And World. But their minds are not structured to do so. The Lesser Minds of The Rich and Powerful.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple won't pay
by Phloptical on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 03:46 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

That may be the publicly stated goal. Although, were it that easy, it would have been done already.

The corporate tax rate is not the reason why a company decides to move its manufacturing to a foreign 3rd world country.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Apple won't pay
by bannor99 on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 06:18 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15


The Trump administration will lower the corporate tax rate to 15%. That will mean vast amounts of money will be repatriated to the US. US companies will close many of their foreign operations because they will no longer be tax effective.


That still won't be low enough to please the big corporations. And whatever money that's brought in won't necessarily translate to more jobs or better pay for US workers.
A 5% rate was tried during the Bush years and companies repatriated $360 billion - and then collectively cut 20,000 jobs within 3 yrs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_tax_holiday

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1000142405297020363310457662377102212...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Apple won't pay
by Wondercool on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 06:57 UTC in reply to "Apple won't pay"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

It's hard to judge how important the big corporations are to Ireland. More than 100000 people are employed by multinationals and it's not sure what happen if they decide to move out of Ireland.

But going back to a backwater of poverty seems a bit over the top.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Apple won't pay
by Kochise on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 06:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Apple won't pay"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Yeah, let's them come in France.

Seriously, France decided not to ask for their part of the $13B because the "economic ministry" (Sapin) said that he's "unsure Apple made some profit in France". Seriously guy ? Look around people having iPhones, iPods and Max.

Apple give jobs ? But just like any companies that gives jobs as well, they have to pay taxes as well. The balance is set toward 30% of profits for everybody to cover government expenses and stuff.

Is it a steal ? EU citizens have the level of income necessary to buy Apple stuff, it's kind of fair exchange. Otherwise Apple would have to try to sell its $700 iPhones in continental Africa.

Apple claiming all its subsidiaries in every EU countries are empty shells is just a spit to face many fanboys are eager to swallow because this is iSpit. Wake up from your Jon Ive designed dreams.

Apple have treasure troves full of billions ? You know where they comes from, and are not benefiting anyone involved in the making of these bucks. Neither the Chinese labors, EU consumers, not even US taxpayers.

So, please, get you facts straight before praising the iLords about their wisdom and stuff. This is blatant rip off and abuse of the system at the expense of citizens and benefit of shareholders.

And you buy that.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 01:17 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

And we’d like intellectual property reform to try to stop the people suing when they don’t do anything as a company


Such as that Rockstar company that was partly owned by Apple.

Reply Score: 3

Where to start
by CaptainN- on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 05:09 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

Nothing Trump promised or said was important in his campaign means very much of anything. He's already broken almost every promise, and violated every principle he said he stood for, and he's not even president yet.

Trump will be too busy protecting his own business interests in Turkey and elsewhere to worry much about Apple's.

Reply Score: 4

Bailout != Subsidy
by Wondercool on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 07:07 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

Unfortunately Thom is perpetuating the misconception that Ireland was given a handout of 64 billion euro by the EU.

What happened at the time was that Ireland could only borrow money (bonds) on the market for > 10% interest and the EU was 'friendly' enough to only lend it at 6%. However the bankers are still laughing their ass off. It wasn't free money and a lot of Irish opposed the idea of EU bailing out. A lot of people were in favour of the Icelandic move of saying NO to creditors. Icelands economy was back on track after 3 years, Ireland are still paying back the loans.

I also want to - again - oppose the idea that Ireland is subsidised by the EU. This hasn't been the case for more than 10 years. Ireland is paying more money into the EU than it gets out.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bailout != Subsidy
by Lobotomik on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 09:53 UTC in reply to "Bailout != Subsidy"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Great idea! If you don't pay your debts things are indeed much easier! I will try that: I really want that yatch and the mooring in Palma ... But oh, no, I will be kicked out of my house if I don't pay the mortgage! That is not fair :-(

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bailout != Subsidy
by CaptainN- on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Bailout != Subsidy"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

Balance sheets have two sides, and if you want to balance budgets you have to operate on one side or the other (or both). Iceland did it by cutting expenses (and some borrowing from the IMF), but also just allowing banks to collapse, and businesses to fail (then replacing all the crooks that ran them with better people).

But Iceland trades in it's own currency, and was able to do that. A country in the EU which uses Euros cannot. The EU is a terrible deal for countries like Ireland and Greece because it removes their ability to respond independently to these downturns the way Iceland did, and because the EU has no effective method of geographical wealth redistribution for bailouts in the way the US has (lending money doesn't count - it's a scam, not a bailout). They are stuck now I guess. I'm actually surprised these countries haven't left the EU yet.

Reply Score: 4

Not that difficult
by Lobotomik on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 09:48 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

Apple wants to repatriate money. Trump wants Apple to build factories in, say, Detroit. Apple does not want to pay %%% to repatriate the money. Trump gives them supergood tax exemptions for money that is repatriated and immediately invested in factories. This is made extensible to any entity moving money into the US.

As for the EU, I don't see a way around it. They have earned €€€€€ in the EU, they have used dirty tricks to not pay the taxes due to the EU, and they will have to pay eventually. The fact that they also owe money to the US government is a separate (though related) issue. They will pay their taxes too for the money they earn in the US, but that is by no means deducted from what they owe to the EC.

I don't buy for a second the little tale of the poor innovators that are ransacked by the government when they were only trying to Improve Society. If they pay zilch back to society, there is little good they are doing, other than filling with money the very deep pockets of their investors.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by model500
by model500 on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 17:46 UTC
model500
Member since:
2016-12-22

It's really hard to swallow for people in a EU net contributor country like The Netherlands

yes - poor Netherlands:

https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-...

edit: page 4 of the report.

one massive chunk of reason, that the Netherlands is a net net contributor is, that it´s an even worse tah haven that Ireland.
A Crow calling a Raven "Black"

so before you fine folks from flatlands go and swallow Irelands crap, you should first try to swallow your own.

Edited 2016-12-22 17:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by model500
by acobar on Thu 22nd Dec 2016 19:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by model500"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

PSST, don't say it too loud, it can hurt feelings/collective self image. ;)

Seriously, business is almost the same all around the world, whenever someone see a chance to keep the most, they will try very hard. No need to demonize anyone, just organize your circle and push to improve the law.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by model500
by ameasures on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 10:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by model500"
ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

What interests me about the Oxfam article is the business of leaks. Clearly wikileaks has changed the culture, not only in releasing leaks but also in changing the culture such that others can do likewise with useful effect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by model500
by dionicio on Sat 24th Dec 2016 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by model500"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

How Low Have We fallen. Leaks used to be a DECENT business. With preset tariffs. Usually only Gobs and Corps could pay for it. No doubt, the hands to the face are justified.

Reply Score: 2

tin foil hat alert
by kristoph on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 07:06 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

Trump will want something else - and it's going to be Apple's cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and homeland security - big, big issues during Trump's campaign.

Another random tin foil hat conspiracy theory on OSNews.

News flash: the Republicans control the house, senate and the oval office.

They don't need to make backroom deals with companies, they can just pass a law to force everyone to give them encryption keys - the average person simply does not care about this issue for it to matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE: tin foil hat alert
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 08:11 UTC in reply to "tin foil hat alert"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kristoph,

News flash: the Republicans control the house, senate and the oval office.

They don't need to make backroom deals with companies, they can just pass a law to force everyone to give them encryption keys - the average person simply does not care about this issue for it to matter.


That's true, but I still expect intelligence agencies to continue operating in the dark because they don't want the public and even congress to know what it is they're doing.

Reply Score: 2

The beginning of the end
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 15:02 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple is already failing, big time.
They are killing the Mac. A 15" MacBook Pro for around 3000 euro? The hardware upgrades are unconvincing or, regarding other Macs, non-existent. Mac OS is simply awful at least since El Capitan. The iPhone? Hardware not bad, but the software is a cage. Prices ridiculous, when some Android companies (OnePlus, Huawei) manage to make beautiful phones at a fraction of the cost.
Tablets? Again, iOS is a cage. Android or Windows tablet will let you "use" any file you throw at them.
Now I don't mean that Apple is going bankrupt tomorrow, but it will pale into insignificance more and more.

Reply Score: 3

By way of information:
by oskeladden on Fri 23rd Dec 2016 19:03 UTC
oskeladden
Member since:
2009-08-05

Since Thom hasn't seen fit to link to the actual ruling of the EC, I'll do so. The ruling is available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/253200/253200_18510...

The grounds on which Ireland is appealing are on the Finance Ministry's website, here:

http://www.finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/161219%20Summary~...

Finally, given Thom's sanctimoniousness about the Netherlands, it's worth pointing out that until earlier this year, the Netherlands was a very active facilitator of corporate tax avoidance (and many would say it still is). The 'Dutch sandwich' was an integral component of the 'Double Irish' route to paying next-to-no tax. The systematic facilitation of tax avoidance gave a tidy profit to the Dutch treasury, at a considerable cost to many other European countries.

Reply Score: 2

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Where exactly are all of you getting your information? A rag like the Daily Mail? So far I'm seeing about 4% of your information being correct.

If you don't like the tax laws, which Microsoft, Google, Amazon and EVERY company has to follow, not just Apple, then complain to the government that created those tax laws.

It was the REPUBCLICANS that lowered rich people's taxes from around 85% to around 35% or less back when Regan was the president. It was his group that made major changes to the tax laws. Every other president has made very small changes in comparison to his group. So if you want to blame someone, blame people that were in the whitehouse before Apple was even existed.

As for Ireland. Apple isn't getting any tax breaks that every other company isn't also getting. And Apple didn't go to Ireland and tell them to change the laws for their sake. They, just like every other company, looked around and found the country with the lower tax rate and went there.

Quite blaming Apple for selling a very profitable set of products. It isn't there fault that their gross margin on their devices is far higher than everyone else's. Blame the other companies for making products they almost have to give away.

I've got an idea. Figure out what you are missing in life and make that product. Make it at the best quality that you can for as much as you can with as big of a margin as you can. If people want it they will buy it. Then you will be rich too.

Apple didn't create the tax laws. They exist under the same tax structure as everyone else. Get over it.

Reply Score: 1

Decades to return Manufacturing....
by hackus on Sat 24th Dec 2016 02:47 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Who Says?

Especially if we have those Chinese workers come over and train their American replacements.

;-)

Reply Score: 2