Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU takes Ireland to court over Apple's missing tax millions; Zain deploys Openwave in Saudi Arabia; Proximus strikes FTTH deal.
UK incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has signed a data exchange agreement with Interpol, the international police organization, to help the global fight against cybercrime. The agreement is the first of its kind, according to BT, and builds on an existing cooperation framework between the two organizations. BT's "threat intelligence" experts will provide Interpol's innovation center in Singapore with assistance and insights into the ever-changing landscape of cybercrime.
The European Commission is to take the Irish government to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to €13 billion (US$15.3 billion) of unpaid tax which the Commission says is due from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). As Reuters reports, Ireland was told last August that it had to claw back the missing money, and has failed to convince the Commission that it is making sufficient effort to carry out the order. In the Commission's eyes, the favorable tax rate applied to Apple's business in Ireland amounted to illegal state aid. (See Eurobites: Don't Pick On Apple, Says Irish Telecom Tycoon.)
And in another corner of the same ballpark, the EU has ordered Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) to repay €250 million ($293 million) in back taxes for the same offense, but this time in Luxembourg, the BBC reports. Amazon denies it received any special tax treatment, and is considering an appeal.
Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) has deployed an NFV-based mobile data tariff management offering from Openwave, which, says the vendor, will allow Zain to "manage and monetize" a range of encrypted data, including streaming video.
Belgium's Proximus has agreed an FTTH wholesale deal with Edpnet, a domestic, independent telecom provider, under the terms of which EDpnet will use the Proximus fiber network to offer better connectivity to its business and residential customers.
Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has acquired a 50.82% stake in LiteBox, a software developer startup that specializes in cloud-based cash register systems. The deal is worth 620 million Russian rubles ($10.7 million).
Pay-TV players Sky (NYSE, London: SKY) and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) have told an Irish parliamentary committee that they would not pay public broadcaster RTE for the right to carry its channels, should RTE carry out its threat of imposing carriage charges. As Broadcast TV News reports, RTE says it is merely trying to "level the playing field for negotiations."
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