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A three-year investigation of Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple is ending with a bill for billions of euros in back taxes for the tech giant. A 130-page judgment from the European Commission says that decisions made by tax authorities in Dublin violated EU law by granting Apple an advantage not available to other companies.
The demand could end up being Europe’s largest tax penalty, as part of a ruling that says Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland. Investigators have found that Apple paid a tax rate of less than 1 per cent on European sales, much lower than Ireland’s headline rate of 12.5 per cent on business profits.
The decision will be subject of appeals in European courts by Apple and Ireland, both of which have denied wrongdoing.
The biggest tax penalty in Europe to date was levied against the French energy company EDF, which was ordered to repay more than €1bn. (FT)
In the news
Singapore steps up efforts to contain Zika Facing what appears to be the largest cluster of the disease in Asia, officials in Singapore are stepping up their efforts to contain the Zika virus. At least 41 locally transmitted cases have been confirmed and other countries in the region have suffered cases as well. Government workers were spraying insecticide to help control the spread of the disease and the mosquitoes that carry it. (FT)
Apple hints at its next iPhone release with invitation Apple gave the strongest hint yet that it is preparing to release the next version of its iPhone next week, with an invitation sent to reporters for an event on September 7. The invitation included the text “See you on the 7th”, a hint at the new iPhone, which will be the seventh iteration of the device. Apple hopes the release will help reverse declining sales. (FT)
Former European Commission head faces petition Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition protesting at former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso’s move to work at Goldman Sachs. The petition is seeking punitive measures, including the suspension of his EU pension. (FT)
UN pays tens of millions to Assad regime under aid programme A new analysis shows tens of millions of dollars in UN contracts have been paid to people with close ties to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Among the findings: the UN paid at least $4m to a state-owned fuel supplier which also appears on the EU sanctions list. (Guardian)
China’s oil majors scale back output Shifting priorities in Beijing have allowed China’s oil companies to halt output in older oilfields after years of government mandates to increase domestic supply. In the first seven months of this year, Chinese crude production has dropped 5 per cent compared to the same period last year. (FT)
It’s a big day for
Dilma Rousseff The Brazilian president is expected to face a vote in the Senate on Tuesday, a move that will mark the final stage in her impeachment — known as the judgment phase. Ms Rousseff appeared in the senate on Monday to defend herself, saying the country was “one step away from a coup d’état”.
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s weekahead.
Food for thought
Mystery Myanmar mines shore up world tin market Myanmar’s re-emergence in the tin market is causing a stir in metal-rich countries such as Peru and Indonesia, as mysterious mines are producing in an area near the Chinese border that has been ruled by the United Wa State party and its armed wing for more than 25 years. The party has long had close ties with China and supplies about a third of the country’s demand for tin. (FT)
Japan puts its seniors to work The country that is one of the greyest in the world is also at the forefront of finding ways to put seniors back to work. From manufacturing to cosmetics, companies across Japan are finding jobs for workers into their 80s and 90s. (NAR)
A la carte hotel stays Taking a cue from airlines around the world, hotels are finding new ways to levy fees on customers well beyond the cost of their room. In same cases, that means charging $3.50 per cup of coffee made in a guest’s room. (NYT)
A message from space? Astronomers have detected a “strong signal” in outer space that might originate from a Sun-like star 95 light years from Earth. Scientists are not saying the signal is evidence of intelligent life in the universe but the system from which the signal originated has at least one planet, which is similar to the size of Neptune. (Ars Technica)
Video of the day
Weird world of Japan equities Brokers claim that last week’s $50bn quarterly loss by the Japanese government pension fund is a huge technical buying opportunity. But the FT’s Leo Lewis questions whether it will really rekindle overseas investor interest in Japan. (FT)
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