Eurobites: Irish Cabinet Decides on Apple Tax Tactics

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: eir returns to growth; O2 unveils smart-home offer; BT sues Valve; Deutsche Telekom spices up its offer with music and video streaming.

  • The Irish cabinet meets today to decide whether it should challenge the European Commission's ruling that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) owes the Irish government €13 billion (US$14.5 billion) in back taxes, the Irish Times reports. The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny is strongly in favor of an appeal against the Commission's ruling, but he faces opposition from other elements within the coalition government -- at a meeting on Wednesday, Independent Ministers refused to support such an appeal, setting a number of demands that would need to be met before their support was forthcoming. (See Eurobites: EU Wants Tax Transparency From Tech Titans and Eurobites: EC to Charge Apple With Illegal Tax Deals in Ireland.)

  • Still in Ireland, incumbent operator eir has recorded its first year of annual growth in eight years in its latest set of results. Revenue for the fiscal year was up 4% to €1.31 billion ($1.46 billion), while EBITDA rose 5% to €505 million ($565 million), not including "storm costs." The operator now passes 1.6 million premises with fiber and boasts a 28% take-up of its high-speed broadband offering.

  • UK mobile operator O2 has introduced a package of smart-home offerings allowing customers to control various household appliances, such as thermostats and security cameras. Owned by Spanish telecom incumbent Telefónica , the operator also published the results of an IoT survey indicating that three quarters of respondents are interested in using smart technology to "future-proof" their homes. For more on this story, see this report from our sister site Telecoms.com.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is suing US-based gaming platform Valve over what the British giant claims are infringements of four of its patents, the BBC reports. The case was filed in the US state of Delaware.

  • Following in the foosteps of UK mobile operator EE , Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is offering customers the chance to try out streaming service Apple Music for six months free of charge. DT already includes a Spotify offer as part of its customer come-ons. Also, customers on the MagentaEINS tariff will receive the EntertainTV mobile video service for no extra charge.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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