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After a bite of Apple, Margrethe Vestager targets another tech giant

MARGRETHE VESTAGER’S assault on technology firms she deems to have improperly massaged down their tax bills continued this week with a tilt at Amazon. The internet retailer faces a bill of €250m ($293m) for back taxes over what the European Union’s competition commissioner considers to have been an illegal sweetheart deal with Luxembourg.

The order requiring the Grand Duchy to recover the money follows a well-publicised three-year investigation. It is the latest in a series of tax-avoidance cases brought by the European Commission against multinationals, most of them American. Last year, Ireland was ordered to recover €13bn from Apple—smashing all past records for EU corporate-tax cases.

As with Apple, the commission concluded that Amazon received illegal state aid—in the retailer’s case between 2006 and 2014—through a tax-cutting arrangement that was unavailable to its rivals. This came in the form of a ruling from Luxembourg’s tax authority,…Continue reading

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We need to talk about Apple’s connected children

Apple’s platform innovations are opening new frontiers in childcare and education, with iOS-friendly augmented reality toys and child-focused hospital systems showing the impact of digital transformation, from the cradle to the grave.

Alternative Facts

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” said the White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

In tomorrow’s world, your children will also believe impossible things as the boundaries between their real and virtual experiences dissolve.

Tech firms will need to work hard to convince the public that these new merged experiences can be trusted – take a look at reaction to Mattel’s Aristotle device, which prompted Jeff Chester, executive director of the Centre for Digital Democracy to warn: “The kid tech industry sees kids’ bedroom as an economic bonanza.”

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