Nytex

In Brief: Apple CEO defends Ireland track record 

Apple has defended its record in Ireland after the European Commission said the iPhone maker owed the government there €13 billion in unpaid tax.
An investigation launched by Brussels in June 2014 concluded that the tax arrangements of two Apple subsidiaries incorporated in Ireland – Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe – minimised their tax exposure by attributing the majority of their profits to a head office that did not reside in any country and only existed on paper.
The Commission said this practice violated the EU's state aid rules, and the Irish government must now recoup €13 billion plus interest in back taxes.

***In a ruling announced (30 August), EU regulators have seemingly adopted a firm position on how they intend to interpret rules limiting the ways telecom service providers prioritise certain types of internet traffic, in a move they hope will enshrine the principle that all web traffic be considered equal.The EU’s new guidelines have been broadly welcomed by lobbyists keen to ensure that the internet remains a fair and level playing field and that market heavyweights are prevented from creating a two-tier system in which big companies with deep pockets can pay for the fastest speeds, leaving everyone else on a slower service.Commenting on the ruling, Luca Nicotra, a senior campaigner for citizens’ group Avaaz,said:‘Because of this law, telecom companies won’t be able to sell a first-class internet to the mega-rich while the rest of us travel coach.’

***LetterOne (L1)Technology revealed it has invested US$50 million (€44.8 million) in U.S.MVNO FreedomPop.L1 Technology.The Luxembourg-based investment firm owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, made the investment earlier this year,but only just received clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States(CFIUS).As well as capital,L1 said it will also lend its expertise in telecoms and emerging markets to aid FreedomPop's expansion.

***Smart Telecom (Tanzania), controlled by Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) through Uganda-based holding company SMART East Africa Group, has announced the launch of weekly and monthly 4G LTE bundles offering unlimited data browsing and streaming on any device including MiFi dongles, 4G compatible smartphones or routers. The cellco, which launched its 4G network in April 2015, is offering either a weekly deal, priced at TZS30,000 (USD14), or a monthly pass for TZS69,000.

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•Bharti Airtel optimises 30,000 base stations through its Open Network Initiative
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