Nytex

In Brief:EU orders Apple to pay EUR 13 billion in additional tax 

The European Commission has ordered Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion in taxes from Apple, after concluding that the country gave the company an unfair tax advantage over other businesses. The advance tax rulings granted by the Irish government for Apple's European headquarters in the country helped Apple lower its tax rate on European profits to as little as 0.005 percent in 2014. The Commission's investigation, started in June 2014, covers the period going back to 1991. The selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland was found to be illegal under EU state aid rules.Ireland must now recover the unpaid taxes from Apple for the years 2003-2014 of up to EUR 13 billion, plus interest.

***Berec, the EU telecom regulator, has published its final guidelines for national regulators on enforcing the EU's net neutrality legislation which took effect in April. A public consultation by Berec earlier this year on the draft guidelines attracted nearly half a million responses, as the public, governments and private companies seek to weigh in on how non-discrimination of internet traffic should be maintained. Berec also published a summary of these responses, ahead of a presentation of the guidelines at a press conference in Brussels. The law which took effect 30 April sets a common standard for net neutrality throughout the EU. Internet providers are required to treat all traffic equally, with no blocking or slowing specific content, applications or services from selected senders or to selected receivers.

***Talks between the Egyptian authorities and representatives from Saudi Telecom and Lebara KSA over the possibility of the two companies acquiring a 4G concession have been taking place, ‘Officials from Saudi Telecom are looking into investment opportunities in the telecommunication sector in Egypt, especially the 4G mobile services. They will complete their discussions with the Minister of Communication and the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) ,’ the unnamed official said. Further, according to the official Egypt’s telecom minister is also understood to be planning to hold talks with the chairman of Saudi Arabia-based MVNO Lebara KSA, which is among several companies to have expressed an interest in acquiring a 4G licence.

***Zain Iraq and Swedish vendor Ericsson have signed a three-year extension to their network and IT operation and optimisation managed services contract. The deal will see Ericsson continue to optimise and manage network operations for Zain’s nationwide 3G platform, which currently consists of more than 4,200 sites. Zain is also expected to benefit from a reduction in operating costs while offering customers improved data service quality and availability. Further, the extension will enable Zain to focus on other areas such as its core customer-facing business activities, expanding its network and reducing the time-to-market for new services and technologies.

•***PCCW, Alibaba Cloud partner on anti-DDoS for enterprises
•FreedomPop receives $50m investment from LetterOne
•Ethernet switch market worth $6bn in second quarter
•Verizon launches LTE Advanced bringing 50% faster speeds to 461 US cities
•Mobily teams with Ericsson to launch 4x4 MIMO in Saudi Arabia